Despite Trump efforts, United States trade deficit with China hits record


China's exports to the United States rose 13.6 percent in the first half of 2018 from a year earlier, while its imports from the USA rose 11.8 percent in the same period.

However, analysts said the June figures were a sign that exporters rushed to beat the initial tranche of tariffs, which came into effect in the first week of July.

China reported a trade surplus of $41.61 billion in June, compared with $24.92 billion in May, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

Analysts also pointed out that Chinese export growth slowed to 11.3% year on year in June, from 12.2% in May, illustrating that exporters, faced with the threat of further trade barriers, were becoming more circumspect in sending goods overseas.

The politically-sensitive data comes as sides have imposed 25% tariffs on 34-billion-dollars of the others' imports.

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This week, Washington threatened to impose 10% tariffs on another $200bn of Chinese imports.

"Those talks produced progress, so much so that the United States government said they would put the trade war on hold, but all of a sudden an announcement was made to impose tariffs on imports from China".

While China continues to benefit from strong global demand for its goods for now, the rising trade tensions with the U.S. has the potential to hurt both sides.

"Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she told the BBC.

Amy Zhuang has warned that there could be knock-on effects if the USA proceeds with its proposal for a new round of tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods.

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"Targeting such a large amount of basic consumers will inevitably have an effect on USA inflation".

China's commerce ministry confirmed last month that Chinese exporters were front-loading exports to the United States to get ahead of expected tariffs - a situation that could exacerbate any slowdown in shipments toward the year end.

David Kuo, chief executive of the Motley Fool Singapore, said "US tariffs will increase the cost of Chinese imports but they are unlikely to deter United States consumers entirely".

As the US-China trade war escalates, the latest trade numbers appear to back Washington's biggest gripe with Beijing. The sign added: "The US provoked a trade war, we vow to accompany it to the end!"

After a strong start to the year, growth in China's exports has moderated recently, and is expected to face more pressure from the initial round of USA tariffs.

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In a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as it hit United States imports with extra tariffs, China had dropped import tariffs on a range of animal feed ingredients from several Asian countries.