China's September trade surplus with US widens to record $34.13 billion

Irving Hamilton
October 12, 2018

China's large trade surplus with the United States has always been a sore point with Washington and is at the center of an increasing bitter dispute between the world's two biggest economies. China then hit back with tariffs on about US$60 billion of USA imports.

Overall, China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $226 billion for the first nine months of the year, up from $196 billion in the same period of 2017.

The world's top two economies imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other's goods mid-September, with the U.S. targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of United States goods.

The latest China trade data is sure to remain a sore point with Washington. Beijing's new levies will be 5-10 percent.

Economists warn that a protracted dispute will eventually stunt growth not just in the US and China but across the broader global economy.

In an interview on Fox News on Thursday, President Trump praised his tariffs on Chinese imports.

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President Trump added he could do a lot more if he wanted to, but said he would prefer Beijing come to the negotiating table.

The Trump administration has so far imposed tariffs on 250 million dollars-worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating in kind.

China has steadfastly denied that it has manipulated the yuan to cope with the tariffs.

China's stock market has plunged this year but the trade war has also started to erode Trump's oft-touted United States stock gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than five percent for the week.

The growing trade war prompted the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday to cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019.

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