Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

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

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

The Trump administration announced today that it will go ahead with imposing 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports.

The U.S. levied 25 per cent duties on US$34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are under pressure early Wednesday after China said it will retaliate against the latest round of USA tariffs on Chinese imports.

"[The] trade data don't show any significant impact from the first round of U.S. tariffs", Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to investors.

The latest list brings the total Chinese imports that face a 25 percent tariff to about $50 billion in a rapidly escalating trade war that could eventually slap duties on all goods traded between the world's two largest economies.

China's July exports rose 12.2 percent from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase according to the latest Reuters poll, and up from a 11.2 percent gain in June. Since then, Washington and Beijing have raised the stakes by threatening more punitive trade measures in an intensifying dispute that has rattled financial markets anxious about the impact on investment and growth. And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

At the same time, Beijing reported a $28.1bn trade surplus with the USA in July, just below the record $28.9bn seen in June.

The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports.


It is now highly likely that China will retaliate, as promised, with its own $60 billion tariff round.

After a strong start to the year, growth in the world's second-largest economy cooled slightly in the second quarter, partly hit by the government's years-long efforts to tackle debt risks. But it held off on a final $16 billion as a result of concerns raised by United States companies.

The U.S. exported more than $142 million worth of lobster to China previous year, up from about $108 million in 2016.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

In July, the USA and China exchanged tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods.

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