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Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, tells the Post that one reason that China has been able to beat Trump's tariffs so far is that its currency value has depreciated by more than eight percent since June, which has helped make its products even cheaper overseas, while also reducing domestic demand for USA imports.

Imports grew 14.3 percent, down from 20.9 percent.

The newspaper said the White House is laying the groundwork for the meeting, saying Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow want to de-escalate the trade fight. Analysts had expected the surplus would shrink to $19.4 billion from $27.89 billion in August.

September marked the second straight record Chinese monthly trade surplus with the United States after August's $31 billion.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday there was much more he could do that would hurt China's economy further, showing no signs of backing off an escalating trade war with Beijing.

For January-September, China's trade surplus with the United States was $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period previous year.

Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive USA tariffs of up to 25 percent.

Concerns have been raised that China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury bonds, might start dumping its holdings as a way to bring more pressure on the United States in the trade dispute.

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China's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly as companies ramped up shipments before stiffer USA duties go into effect, but factory surveys have shown export orders have been shrinking for several months.

"China and the USA maintain communication on dialogues and exchanges at all levels", Lu told reporters at a daily briefing.

On Thursday, the U.S. said it would restrict exports of nuclear technology to China given worries it was being diverted to support the military.

The Chinese yuan has lost almost 10 per cent of its value against the dollar this year.

The Trump administration has so far imposed tariffs on 250 million dollars-worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating in kind.

Trump has made similar accusations, although security experts say they didn't know of any Chinese influence operations comparable to Russian activities during the 2016 presidential election.

Washington has long argued that China keeps its currency artificially low to make its exports more competitive but in recent years the yuan or renminbi (RMB) has strengthened and is viewed by economists as more in line with fundamentals.


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