ePaper

Monday, April 23, 2018

China's US surplus jumps as trade with picks up

  • Print

China's trade surplus with the United States expanded last year, raising the possibility of fresh blowback from President Donald Trump who has often bashed Beijing over the issue and fanned fears of a trade war. The increase came despite a tumble in China's global surplus as domestic demand spurred a rally in imports. The figures on Friday showed the difference between exports and imports with the United States expanded 10 percent to $275.8 billion.

Trade between the two countries has become a sensitive issue with the US president hitting out at what he considers unfair practices by Beijing and accusing it of killing US jobs, at one time describing its policies as "rape".
The billionaire's comments and economically nationalist platform -- including pulling out of a key Pacific pact and threatening to tear up another with Canada -- have fanned fears of a trade war. But while the former reality TV star has repeatedly threatened to take retaliatory action against China if it does not narrow the gap, he has so far held back.

During his November visit to Beijing, the two countries announced more than $250 billion in business deals providing some salve to Trump's fixation on trade. The increasing surplus is likely to give impetus to calls for tough measures. The US is expected to release the results of a major investigation into China's intellectual property practices this year.

China has so far resisted taking major retaliatory action against US imports despite a volley of new duties and investigations from the White House. But historically, Beijing has responded to new US tariffs with tit-for-tat measures and it is unclear how long its leaders will restrain themselves.

"A major uncertainty is potential China-US trade frictions," Ding Shuang, chief economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong told Bloomberg News. Friday's report from the General Administration of Customs showed China's exports expanded 7.9 percent while imports soared 15.9 percent.

-AFP, Beijing

More News For this Category

World Bank shareholders back $13b capital increase

| By
The World Bank's shareholders on Saturday endorsed a $13 billion paid-in capital increase that will boost China's shareholding but bring lending reforms that will raise borrowing costs for higher-middle-income
World Bank shareholders back $13b capital increase

EU, Mexico reach agreement on free trade deal

| By
The EU and Mexico said Saturday they had reached an "agreement in principle" to modernise an existing free trade deal, as the Latin American country faces pressure from protectionist
EU, Mexico reach agreement on free trade deal

Japan may soften trade stance as US keeps up pressure

| By
 Despite calls to resist protectionism and for the United States to rejoin a multilateral trans-Pacific trade pact, Japan is gradually shifting gear to adjust to a trade environment shaken
Japan may soften trade stance  as US keeps up pressure

China welcomes US to trade deal discuss

| By
 China on Sunday said it welcomed plans by top US officials to visit the country to discuss trade and economic issues, amid tensions between the world's two largest economies. 
China welcomes US to trade deal discuss

No-deal Brexit 'disastrous' for food firms

| By Business Desk
A free trade deal with the EU after Brexit is "crucial" for the UK food and drink industry and failure to secure one would be "disastrous", a committee of
No-deal Brexit 'disastrous' for food firms

US sanctions on Vekselberg have $1.5-$2b assets frozen

| By
Assets totaling between $1.5 billion and $2 billion have been frozen as a result of sanctions imposed on Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and his Renova Group conglomerate, two sources

Bolivia to invest in billion-dollar lithium deal

| By
Bolivia will manufacture and market lithium batteries along with German company ACI Systems GmbH, which will invest $1.3 billion in the project, the country's manager of the lithium deposits

GSMA puts new technology on hold in wake of US probe

| By
A telecommunications standards organization - GSMA - said on Saturday it is delaying implementation of a new cellphone technology due to a US government probe of alleged coordination between

EU, Singapore closer to signing FTA

| By Business Desk
In the first step towards signing and concluding the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA), the European Commission has presented the outcome of the negotiations to the European Council.

Fed policymakers say not to worry

| By
As the gap between short- and long-term borrowing costs hovers near its lowest in more than 10 years, speculation has risen over whether the so-called yield curve is signaling
Fed policymakers say  not to worry

© 2018 The Asian Age