China says world trade system not ideal, needs reform

The hope is that Thailand can reap the windfall from relocation of China-based multinationals- but all Asean economies hope for the same gains

It was unclear whether any U.S.

"What I worry about is what if China, instead of growing 6 percent, grows 3 (percent); That we actually have such an impact on the Chinese economy that their growth rate is (stifled) - that will impact everyone and you have to wonder if it's worth it", Gutierrez told CNBC's Oriel Morrison on Thursday.

Washington has offered to restart negotiations with Beijing as the trade war escalates, a move analysts say reflects pressure on the White House ahead of critical midterm elections and a weaker Chinese negotiating position as its economy slows.

He said on Twitter that a Wall Street Journal story on Wednesday about the talks invitation from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid rising us political pressure on Trump to ease up on trade fights "has it wrong".

Trump imposed his first phase of tariffs this summer on $50 billion of Chinese goods, including high-end technology parts and manufactured goods, while Beijing fired back dollar-for-dollar at United States soybeans, autos and other farm goods.

But Larry Kudlow, head of the White House Economic Council, said Wednesday on the Fox Business Network that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited senior Chinese officials to rekindle the talks.

Two people familiar with the effort said Mnuchin's invitation was sent to his Chinese counterparts, including Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping, for talks in coming weeks, with the time and the venue still to be agreed.

The current world trade system is not flawless and China supports reforms to it, including to the World Trade Organization, to make it fairer and more effective, Beijing's top diplomat said.

The majority of American companies in China say they are hurting from the escalating US-China trade spat, reporting increased costs, lower profits and stepped-up scrutiny, a survey showed Thursday.

"There's some discussions and information that we received that the Chinese government - the top of the Chinese government wished to pursue talks", Mr Kudlow said.

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But Kudlow was non-committal over the chances of a breakthrough, adding: "I guarantee nothing".

The damage from the trade war to U.S. businesses in China includes lost profits, higher manufacturing costs and lower demand for their products, according to the survey of more than 430 companies in industries ranging from technology to health care.

On Wednesday, more than 60 USA industry groups launched a coalition - Americans for Free Trade - to take the fight against the tariffs public.

"This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting USA companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", said AmCham Shanghai chairman Eric Zheng. Midlevel U.S. and Chinese officials met on August 22 and 23 with no agreements.

A US Treasury spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

The tweet appeared aimed at a Wall Street Journal report about Mr. Mnuchin's invitation.

Trump said last week that he also had tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of goods ready "on short notice if I want".

One of the highest-profile casualties of the trade war was United States chipmaker Qualcomm's (QCOM) $44 billion acquisition of Dutch rival NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), which China killed in July by refusing to grant it regulatory approval.

They are already affecting companies, particularly the automobile industry, and hurting economies.

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