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China's August exports shrink as tariff war hurts US sales

China's August exports shrink as tariff war hurts US sales”

Imports of American goods tumbled 22 percent in August from a year earlier to $10.3 billion, customs data showed Sunday.

The European Union remained as China's largest trading partner during the period, with bilateral trade volume up 9.7 percent from one year earlier to 3.15 trillion yuan, followed by the ASEAN, up 11.7 percent to 2.74 trillion yuan, and the United States, down 9 percent to 2.42 trillion yuan. "Meanwhile, the global trade weakness looks set to linger, which will continue to weigh on demand for China's exports".

Exports to the United States, China's biggest market, sank 16 per cent under pressure from punitive tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump in a fight over Beijing's trade surplus and technology ambitions.

A new round of USA tariffs on some Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on USA goods is scheduled to take effect from 0401 GMT on Sunday.

China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $26.95bn in August, narrowing from July's $27.97bn.

The Trump administration will begin collecting 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in June to resume negotiations, though neither side shifted its position. A study by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University, and Princeton University found that the burden of Trump's tariffs - including taxes on steel, aluminum, solar panels falls entirely on United States consumers and businesses who buy imported products. That would extend penalties to nearly everything the United States buys from China.

The EU imposed import duties of 25% on a $2.8 billion range of imports from the United States in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum. More increases are due on December 15 in line with the US penalties.

The contraction came despite a persistent weakening of the yuan, and is evidence that exporters are not "front-loading" sales to try to beat oncoming higher tariffs.

The latest Chinese figures reflected the possible delayed impact of a USA tariff hike on July 6.

Facing downward pressure and headwinds from trade frictions, China vowed to take further steps to ensure the stability of employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting Wednesday.

China has consistently denied Washington's accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticising U.S. measures as protectionist.



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