Monday, 10 December, 2018

China claims Trump's trade actions make USA 'enemy to all'

Workers sort dried seafood for export at a factory in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on July 5 Workers sort dried seafood for export at a factory in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on July 5
Jean Garcia | 13 July, 2018, 16:52

China's monthly trade surplus with the United States hit a record high of almost $29bn (£22bn) in June as exports to America remained strong.

That leaves about $80 billion for penalty tariffs after Beijing's previous increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $50 billion of US goods are counted.

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 USA exports to China.

After a strong start to the year, growth in China's exports has moderated recently, and is expected to face more pressure from the initial round of USA tariffs.

"Still, we do not expect a plunge because those tariffs only targeted $34bn worth of goods which is fairly small compared to China's total trade", she said.

Imports grew 14.1% in June from a year ago, well below the 26% increase in May and economists' forecast of a 23.5% gain.

For January-June China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $133.76-billion, compared with about $117.51-billion in the same period previous year.

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China's trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June as its overall exports grew at a solid pace, a result that could further inflame a bitter trade dispute with Washington.

US President Donald Trump had already threatened to impose additional tariffs if China - the world's largest exporter - retaliates.

"This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade", a Chinese customs administration spokesman said today.

"Targeting such a large amount of basic consumers will inevitably have an effect on U.S. inflation".

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

David Kuo, chief executive of the Motley Fool Singapore, said "US tariffs will increase the cost of Chinese imports but they are unlikely to deter United States consumers entirely".

The US economy is far less reliant on trade than most other major countries, but there will be an impact from the higher costs of imports.

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