Exports to the US China's biggest trading partner, fell 14.1 per cent from a year earlier to USD52.3 billion in the first two months of 2019, customs data showed yesterday.
Bucking the downturn, exports of information/communication devices and audio/video items rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier to US$2.62 billion in February, the MOF figures show.
Its politically sensitive trade surplus with the USA narrowed to US$14.7 billion for the month from US$27.3 billion in January, the Chinese General Administration of Customs data showed.
Exports were down 4.6 percent to reach 353.21 billion USA dollars, while imports retreated 3.1 percent to 309.51 billion US dollars.
"We're talking to them (Chinese officials) every day, but no one's got any trip plans", Willems told reporters on the sidelines of a Georgetown Law School trade event in Washington.
But they noted that export momentum on a three-month basis has moderated significantly since the third quarter previous year and said "growth is likely to remain soft in the near future".
Trump made the comments Friday as he left the White House to tour tornado damage in the southern USA state of Alabama.
China-US trade in goods
The governments of the world's two largest economies have been locked in a tariff battle for months as Washington presses Beijing to address long-standing concerns over Chinese practices and policies around technology transfers, market access and intellectual property rights.
But the New York Times reported that Chinese officials are leery of continued discussions and don't want to commit China to structural changes in its economy. February cargoes were tied with the highest monthly total on record set in September past year.
He also lowered the government's goal for economic growth to a range of 6 to 6.5 percent for 2019, down from about 6.5 percent previous year.
For the first two months of the year, crude imports were 10.8 percent higher than for the same period last year.
The country's global trade surplus was USD43.7 billion.
The two sides appeared to be closing in on a draft agreement a week ago, but Chinese leaders were taken aback by the collapse of the Trump-Kim talks in Hanoi, the paper said, quoting people familiar with Beijing's thinking. Like China, Japan and South Korea, its hi-tech manufacturers are also being hurt by a global downturn in demand for electronics from memory chips to smartphones.