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President Xi seemed to respond to the escalation in early May by signaling a willingness to improve intellectual property protections and cut tariffs on USA auto imports to China.

China's crude oil imports reached record highs in April on a daily basis, according to customs data, with independent refiners shipping in backlogs of cargoes from the previous month and making new purchases amid steady refining margins.

USA officials traveled to Beijing last week for talks on resolving the dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

The visit by the Chinese delegation comes soon after a USA presidential delegation led by Mnuchin went to Beijing for trade talks. Those meetings appear to have made little progress, but further discussions are scheduled to resume next week.

Trump has regularly said current trade practices are unfair and hurting American companies and jobs, and has threatened to impose import tariffs to the tune of $150 billion on Chinese goods.

China is now embroiled in a months-long brawl with the United States over trade.

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On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping at 8:30 a.m. ET.

"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday without giving further details on the negotiations. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro were all on the trip. That compared with 39.17 million tonnes in April past year.

The Trump administration has drawn a hard line in trade talks, demanding a $200 billion cut in the Chinese trade surplus with the United States, sharply lower tariffs and advanced technology subsidies.

However, last week China said "big differences" remained between the two sides after the first round of talks.

Economists at ANZ said some Chinese exporters might be accelerating electronics shipments amid the tariff threats.