China trade surplus with USA hits record high in June

Workers sort dried seafood for export at a factory in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on July 5

Wang said he had been under the impression that four rounds of high level talks in recent months between China and the United States had averted the trade war.

Last week, the United States and China introduced tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of each other's exports.

For January-June China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period previous year. China also said both its imports and exports with the USA rose in the first half of 2018. So far China has responded in kind, adding tariffs to $34bn of goods from the USA and threatening "firm and forceful measures" to match the threat of tariffs on $200bn worth of United States exports.

Analysts expect to see the impact of the tariffs in July's figures.

Firing the first shots in a trade war that has rattled financial markets and raised risks to the global economy, Washington last week imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, drawing rapid retaliatory duties by Beijing on the same amount of United States exports to China.

"We expect the trade numbers for July to disappoint since that's when the first round of USA tariffs took effect", China analyst at Nordea Bank in Singapore Amy Zhuang told the BBC. Its trade surplus with the USA over the same period was $133.76bn, up from $117.51bn previous year.

China's foreign trade faces risks of slowing in the second half of the year, General Administration of Customs spokesman Huang Songping told a news conference, though he said Beijing was capable of handling challenges.

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Trump imposed $34 billion of tariffs on China, and another round of $16 billion is around the corner.

Not unexpectedly, several readers have expressed concern about the possible impact of the introduction of new United States tariffs on Chinese, Canadian and European imports on Australian and world share markets. "Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she said.

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

Chinese data released Friday showed that the U.S. trade deficit with China hit $28.97 billion in June, an increase of $4.39 billion from May, according to Reuters.

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 U.S. consumers entirely". So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, U.S. markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high.

In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%.

The dispute has jolted global financial markets, raising worries a full-scale trade war could derail the world economy.

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