China on Tuesday called for United States trade talks to be conducted on an equal footing, as Beijing's top economic official is due in Washington next week for more discussions on a dispute that could trigger tariffs on billions of dollars of goods this month.
China's goods trade rose 8.9 percent year-on-year to 9.11 trillion yuan (about 1.43 trillion US dollars) in the first four months of this year, customs data showed Tuesday.
Imports for the first four months of 2018 rose 8.9 percent versus the same period a year ago to 151.43 million tonnes, or 9.21 million bpd.
"China's top economic advisor, the Vice Premier, will be coming here next week to continue the discussions with the President's economic team", said Sanders who emphasized the "great relationship" between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", she told reporters.
China's imports from the USA climbed 11.6 percent between January and April, which however wasn't enough to offset a 13.9-percent rise in exports to that country.
Pork exports from the USA to China during 2017 represented $1.1 billion, while overall farm exports totaled just under $20 billion during the year.
Trump directed Trade Representative Lighthizer in early April to look at the potential of imposing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.
Chinese private enterprises played a bigger role in trade by contributing 38.6 percent to total trade, up 1.2 percentage points compared with the same period past year.
Just hours after the steel and aluminum tariffs had been announced, Kudlow told reporters that the Trump administration was mulling over providing China with a list of what the USA wants to see happen on trade with China.
In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman did not confirm Liu's visit, but said China viewed the White House statement positively, and that handling trade issues through consultations served the interests of both countries, as well as of the world.
Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on as much as United States dollars 150 billion in Chinese goods, duties that can be imposed after a public comment period ends on May 22.