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China's Trade Surplus With the USA hits record high

15 July, 2018, 16:18 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • People walk past an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

Firing the first shots in a trade war that has rattled financial markets and raised risks to the global economy, Washington last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, drawing rapid retaliatory duties by Beijing on the same amount of United States exports to China. China is running out of American goods for retaliatory tariffs due to their lopsided trade balance.

Last Friday, Trump rolled out 25% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods.

The June figures may have received a boost from U.S. and Chinese traders who rushed to fill orders for soybeans, ball bearings and other goods in both directions before threatened tariff hikes took effect.

"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as U.S. tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, the senior China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore, said.

US President Donald Trump had already threatened to impose additional tariffs if China - the world's largest exporter - retaliates. China also said both its imports and exports with the United States rose in the first half of 2018.

For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period previous year. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month as the trade row deepens.

While China continues to benefit from strong global demand for its goods for now, the rising trade tensions with the USA has the potential to hurt both sides. Trump has said he may ultimately target more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China previous year.

Amy Zhuang has warned that there could be knock-on effects if the United States proceeds with its proposal for a new round of tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods. They said as a outcome figures for July and August were likely to show a decline in exports to the US.

Industrial metals copper, zinc and lead all slumped as much as 4 percent to their lowest levels in about a year over worries that the trade dispute could dent China's commodity-hungry economy.

"There will be challenges facing foreign trade with rising instabilities and uncertainties in the global environment, " said a Chinese customs agency report.

In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%.

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