Chinese exports accelerate as fresh U.S. tariffs loom

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A weaker yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July, may have taken the sting out of 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion exports to the United States.

Beijing has already threatened to retaliate against U.S. products in kind, warning Washington against "blackmailing and pressuring".

And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

China's exports soared in July, showing little impact from U.S. tariffs, as Washington finalises more duties on Chinese imports.

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Announcing the new duties, the US Trade Representatives Office: "China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, US companies and assets to generate large-scale technology transfer".

A U.S. -China trade war will reduce global output by 0.7 per cent by 2020, with China's economy taking a 1.3 per cent hit and U.S. GDP dropping 1 per cent, Oxford Economics said in a research note Tuesday, before the new list was released.

The U.S. said it will begin imposing 25 per cent duties on an additional US$16 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies. 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. However, analysts still expect a less favourable trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl.

In May, Chinese importers trying to beat Beijing's looming counter-tariffs led to a surge in United States exports of crude oil and soybeans, temporarily driving down the trade deficit and helping boost GDP growth in the April-June period to 4.1 percent.

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The surplus with the United States was higher than China's overall trade surplus in July, which was $28.05 billion, indicating China ran a net trade deficit with the world excluding the U.S.

Front page commentary published across all state newspapers by the official Xinhua news agency said: "Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around".

Trump responded with a warning that the US would consider tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese goods.

The Semiconductor Industry Association expressed disappointment at USTR's decision to keep the sector on the tariff list.

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In March 2018, the USTR had released the findings of its "exhaustive" Section 301 investigation that found China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are "unreasonable and discriminatory and burden U.S. commerce".

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