China's trade grows in June amid tensions with Washington

Leroy Wright
July 14, 2018

The figures come after the two sides exchanged tit for tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods and Donald Trump threatened to up the ante with measures on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The dispute has jolted global financial markets, raising worries a full-scale trade war could derail the world economy.

Analysts also pointed out that Chinese export growth slowed to 11.3% year on year in June, from 12.2% in May, illustrating that exporters, faced with the threat of further trade barriers, were becoming more circumspect in sending goods overseas.

China's exports rose 11.3% in June from a year earlier, compared with a 12.6% increase in May, customs data showed.

The US trade deficit with China hit a record high in June, according to a Reuters analysis, despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani: Trump interview with Mueller "further away" ACLU calls for Trump officials to hand over info on immigrant children Kushner to join Pompeo for meetings with Mexican leaders MORE's efforts to alter the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.

Earlier this week Donald Trump proposed a 10% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods entering the U.S., saying that tariffs already in place on steel and aluminium imports and $34bn of goods had failed to force significant reforms by Beijing.

Analysts expect to see the impact of the tariffs in July's figures.

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I get along with her very nicely. "If they do that, then their trade deal with the United States will probably not be made". White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's interview shows he really does like May.

Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.

Imports grew 14.1 percent in June, customs said, missing analysts' forecast of a 20.8 percent growth, and compared with a 26 percent rise in May.

"We expect slowing export growth to put downward pressure on the current account and RMB (yuan), and believe China is likely to be willing to make concessions in future rounds of trade negotiations with the U.S.", Nomura analysts said in a note to clients.

But in a statement from its commerce ministry, China blamed those problems on the U.S., saying the imbalance was "overestimated" and caused by America's own "domestic structural problems".

"So we would be back to square one", Mr Kuo said, with China exporting more to the USA than it buys from the country. This reduces the domestic pressure on the United States to resolve its trade disputes with China, Canada, Mexico and Europe, which triggered the new tariffs.

For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period past year.

Others say the latest data shows how hard it will be for the United States to win the trade war, arguing that Americans want to buy Chinese-made products. China retaliated with higher duties on a similar amount of American goods.

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