China's July exports rise more than expected despite US tariffs

Hugh Fox
August 8, 2018

President Trump is set to impose steep tariffs on a further $16 billion of Chinese exports this month, escalating the fierce trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

March 22:Trump announces plans to hit$50 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 25% tariff.China announces tariffsin retaliation to the steel and aluminum duties and promises a response to the latest United States announcement.

The step brought the total worth of Chinese goods facing a 25 percent tariff to $50 billion.

In a statement, the Chinese Commerce Ministry charged that the United States "once again put domestic law above global law by imposing "very unreasonable" new tariffs on Chinese goods".

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The 25 percent duty would be applied to the proposed list of $200 billion of Chinese products announced on July 10. So far this year, the trade gap is up more than 7 percent from January-June 2017.


China's latest tariffs will be implemented on August 23, in tandem with the U.S. Washington applied a 25% tariff on Chinese imports including airplane tires and various industrial parts.

The new tariffs, the latest in the ongoing trade spat between US and China, target industrial supplies, chemicals, motorcycles, tractors and tractor parts, rail cars, auto parts, some iron and steel, motor and machine components and more. Washington has long criticised China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

Sales to the USA rose by 13.3%, while China's surplus with the States shrank marginally to $28.1bn (£21.7bn) last month from a record $29bn (£22.4bn) in June. So far, despite the rhetoric, only $37bn worth of imports into China and the U.S. have actually been affected.

Economists say China appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to the yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July and has provided some reprieve for exporters in the face of the rising trade tensions.

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In the meantime, it sought public comment on the new items.

Americans import far more from China than the other way around, however, meaning Beijing may at some point need to look for other means of retaliation.

April 4: China rolls out a listof more than 100 U.S. goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.

"Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around", the commentary said.

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"Looking ahead, we expect export growth to cool in the coming months, though this will primarily reflect softer global growth rather than USA tariffs, the direct impact of which will continue to be mostly offset by the renminbi's (yuan's) recent depreciation", Capital Economics' Senior China Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard wrote in a note.

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