China-US surplus hits record, adding fuel to trade war

12 Octobre, 2018, 13:27 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • China-US surplus hits record, adding fuel to trade war

Washington announced the nuclear technology controls a day after the U.S. Justice Department said it had arrested and indicted a spy for China's Ministry of State Security on charges of economic espionage.

It was about $196.01 billion in the same period past year.

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

The increase was driven by a 13 percent increase in Chinese exports to the United States in September, according to customs office data.

China's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly as companies ramped up shipments before stiffer USA duties go into effect, but factory surveys have shown export orders have been shrinking for several months.

She cited a jump in exports of electrical machinery - the biggest export item from China to the USA - as a sign exporters might have pushed out shipments ahead of implementation of the latest tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese exports.

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

Trump said the Chinese want to negotiate but he does not believe they are ready and he told them so.

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

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The decision is the result of a broad government policy review led by the National Security Council and is driven by Beijing's efforts to obtain advanced technology, nuclear material and equipment from United States companies.

The measures are the latest salvo in a widening U.S. drive to pressure China, with the Trump administration recently slapping US$250 billion in tariffs.

Growth in overall imports for September instead showed a moderate slowdown, in line with signs the broad cooling in domestic demand.

Iron ore imports rose to their highest level in four months as steel mills ramped up output ahead of winter production restrictions. Analysts had expected the surplus would shrink to $19.4 billion from $27.89 billion in August.

The September surplus with the USA was larger than China's overall trade surplus for the month.

The government is also concerned about diversion for use of technology by other countries, one of the officials said.

To shore up growth, Beijing has pledged to increase export tax rebates from Nov 1 for the second time this year and promised to cut corporate burden on a larger scale to help struggling Chinese firms.

But global trade would continue to face challenges as the U.S. It also slashed China's growth forecast for next year to 6.2 per cent from 6.4 per cent.

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