Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

China's trade surplus with USA widens to record $34.1bn

China sends billions of dollars worth of goods to the US by sea every year China sends billions of dollars worth of goods to the US by sea every year More
Jean Garcia | 12 October, 2018, 18:43

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record $34.1 billion in September, despite a raft of U.S. tariffs, official data showed Friday, adding fuel to the fire of a worsening trade war.

The September surplus with the US was larger than China's overall trade surplus of $31.69 billion for the month.

Over the first nine months of the year, China's surplus with its largest export market totaled $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period last year.

The United States is tightening controls on China's imports of civil nuclear technology to prevent use for military or other unauthorized purposes, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Thursday amid increased trade tensions.

The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other's goods mid-September, with the U.S. targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

He also blamed previous USA presidents for allowing China to pursue unfair trade practices and said he had to tell Beijing, "It's over".

China's exports to the United States rose to $46.7 billion while imports slumped to $12.6 billion.

The move comes as the U.S. is waging a trade war against China, with roughly half the products China sells to the USA each year now facing tariffs.

Export numbers have been buoyed by producers rushing to fill orders before American tariffs rose, but they also benefit from "robust US demand" and a weaker Chinese currency, which makes their goods cheaper overseas, said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report.

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Exports to the 28-nation European Union, China's biggest trading partner, rose 11.6 percent to $37.4 billion.

"We expect both to soften in the coming quarters", he said.

"The administration concluded that a change in USA civil nuclear cooperation with China is necessary to strike an appropriate balance between long-term risks to United States national security and economic interests and the impact to the U.S. nuclear industrial base", an administration official told reporters Thursday.

"I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".

He said although the Chinese want to negotiate, he does not believe they are ready.

The meeting was said to have been pushed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

China's economy is feeling some heat from tariff dispute and signs of slowing that prompted the central bank on Sunday to loosen policy by cutting banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for a fourth time this year.

The IMF also lowered estimates for the United States and the global economy as a whole.

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