China 2018 trade growth slowed as US trade battle heated up

16 January, 2019, 22:43 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai China

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, November 2, 2018.

Customs data showed that Chinese exports rose 11.3 percent in 2018 to $478.4 billion, while imports from the U.S. only rose by 0.7 percent.

Pang noted Chinese imports of more advanced technology for use in manufacturing smartphones and other higher-technology products declined 14.9 percent in December, almost double the size of the contraction in overall trade.

Even though export growth was the highest since 2011, last year's overall Chinese trade surplus fell to the lowest level since 2013.

Exports growth in 2018 was the highest in 7 years, surging 9.9 percent while imports grew 15.8 percent compared with last year.

China's large trade surplus with the United States has always been a sore point with Washington, which has demaded Beijing should take steps to reduce it.

The Chinese trade surplus is the American President Donald Trump has always been a thorn in the eye.

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Policies such as how the US uses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA, known as CFIUS, to more tightly examine transactions with Chinese companies pushed abandoned deals to an all-time high, the Rhodium report said.

After nearly a year of tariffs being introduced on a growing list of Chinese products - with China reacting in kind - the two leading nations began talks last week created to end the conflict.

Beyond the tariffs battle with the U.S., China's economy has been facing its own domestic headwinds. "For example, big Japanese airlines bought heavily from United States aircraft producers", he said during a speech at the Centre for China and Globalisation in Beijing.

China's exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December, while imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world's second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand. China exports to the U.S. declined 3.5 per cent in December while its imports from the United States were down 35.8 per cent for the month. However, it is also important that China is an important indicator of the global economy since trade often responds very quickly to global economic trends.

Vice-Premier Liu He, China's top trade negotiator, is expected to travel to Washington on January 30 to continue discussions, though the visit could be delayed if the partial shutdown of the USA government is not resolved by then, U.S. media reported. For all of 2018, soybean, the second largest imports from the USA, fell for the first time since 2011.

Washington was threatening even higher tariffs before Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce in December.

China's natural gas imports in 2018 saw a sharp 31.9% year-on-year growth owing to strong demand.

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