Thursday, 19 September, 2019

China's US trade surplus hit record in 2018 but tariffs bite

Donald Trump's trade war hits Chinese exports China Oil Imports Up 30% In December, Gas Imports Hit Record
Rhonda Young | 17 January, 2019, 20:08

Officials of China and US held three day talks last week to clinch a deal by March 1, the end of deadline set by US President Donald Trump, who is demanding that China should come up with credible initiatives to reduce the Dollars 375 billion trade deficit in 2017.

China will work to straighten out trade frictions with the U.S. this year, the country's commerce minister told state media on Friday.

The on-going conflict between the USA and China over trade, together with a slowdown in China's domestic economy, has already begun to affect some U.S. companies that rely on China for parts and labour.

ING said a fall in electronic shipments could be related to foreign companies avoiding using China-made electronic components, adding that exports and imports of electronic parts and goods will likely shrink this year.

For the full year, global exports rose 7.1 percent to $2.5 trillion, down from the 7.9 percent rate for 2017.

China and the United State's 2018 trade surplus rose to a record $323.3 billion although the exports had declined in December as the delayed impact of President Trump's tariff hikes finally started to affect the demands.

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China's United States trade surplus hit a record high of $323bn in 2018, the highest in more than a decade, according to figures released by the country's General Administration of Customs on January 14.

A total of 172 countries, regions and worldwide organizations, and more than 3,600 enterprises participated in the first China global Import Expo, which was held previous year from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai.

"I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China".

Both sides have been trying to negotiate a deal, with the latest round of talks between Chinese and USA officials concluding last Wednesday.

In December, the country's natural gas imports came in at 9.23 million tonnes.

However, the data show December exports to USA contracted 3.5 per cent compared with year ago as Trump tariff hikes hit.

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China's December trade surplus with the USA fell to $29.87 billion from $35.54 billion in November.

With US tariffs in place, the gloomy export picture has reinforced the need for Beijing to rely on its legion of consumers to grow its economy.

For China's foreign trade outlook in 2019, Li said the biggest challenge was the severe and complicated external environment, rising protectionism and unilateralism, and slowed global economic growth that will drag down multinational trade and investment.

Despite last month's gloom, China for the second year running racked up a record trade surplus with the United States in 2018, according to Chinese data.

"The import slowdown is consistent with other signs that growth in China's domestic economy continued to weaken", said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics.

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