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China trade surplus with U.S. hits historic high & timing couldn’t be worse

13 July 2018

China's trade surplus with the U.S. has grown to a record high of almost $29 billion in June. The politically volatile trade surplus with the United States widened by 14.2 per cent to $29 billion.

The surplus was the highest ever with the USA for any single month, according to Reuters calculations based on official data going back to 2008.

Thus far, China has imposed retaliatory tariffs on $34 billion-worth of US imports, targeting politically sensitive goods such as soybeans.

"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.

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Against this overall background, Australia is in the fortunate position of avoiding a trade dispute with the United States and largely being spared from the impact of the new USA tariffs.

Separate data suggested some Chinese retailers moved up orders to the insulate themselves from the intensifying trade war that threatens to send up costs on a growing number of consumer products. Our economy will be affected in two ways: through lower world economic growth and, more significantly, from a slowing down of the Chinese economy. So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, USA markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month as the trade row deepens.

Not unexpectedly, several readers have expressed concern about the possible impact of the introduction of new USA tariffs on Chinese, Canadian and European imports on Australian and world share markets.

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 past year.

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China imported American goods worth $13.6 billion in June while exporting $42.6 billion to the United States. "Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she said.

The spiralling battle with Beijing shows no signs of cooling down, and observers warn the impact will begin to hurt soon as China's economy struggles with slowing growth just as leaders try to battle a worryingly large debt mountain.

Growth in imports for June showed a moderate slowdown from May, official data showed on Friday.

"So we would be back to square one", Mr Kuo said, with China exporting more to the U.S. than it buys from the country.

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China trade surplus with U.S. hits historic high & timing couldn’t be worse