'very strong signals' that China is ready for a trade deal

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Analysts say the export data showed that the "front-loading" impact as firms rushed out shipments to beat planned USA tariff hikes faded, and that export growth is likely to slow further as demand cools.

Shipments of Chinese goods on an earlier USA tariff list targeting $50 billion of products have already weakened sharply, but that has been offset by a rush of shipments on a later list affecting the $200 billion, according to analysts from Capital Economics.

This year, China's overall export growth has been stronger than expected in nearly every month. Imports of iron ore fell for a second time, reflecting waning restocking demand at steel-mills as profit margins narrow.

The United States government collected $5 billion in import tariffs during the month of October and the numbers continue to climb as the Trump administration capitalizes on additional revenue stemming from the trade war with China.

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires on December 1, 2018.

But China's overall trade last month was worse than expected, with export growth slowing to 5.4 per cent and import growth slowing to 3 per cent.

The new export order component in China's official purchasing managers' index had been contracting since June and barely picked up in November.

China's President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 9 November 2017.

"China talks are going very well!"

For trade with all countries, China's surplus was $44.74 billion for November, compared with forecasts of $34 billion and October's surplus of $34.02 billion.

High Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US soybeans have caused the USA exports of soybeans to drop by as much as 97 percent.

Economists say one factor helping keep up Chinese exports this year is that the yuan has weakened more than 5 per cent against the dollar, helping to make Chinese products more competitive overseas.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries, including the U.S. - logged a United States dollars 44.7 billion surplus in November, up from USD 35 billion the previous month, the data showed.

Yang Yewei, an analyst at Southwest Securities in Beijing, said that as global demand cools, "domestic growth-boosting measures should be more effective".

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