Trump, Xi to meet amid trade war tensions

Posted October 13, 2018

China enjoyed a record high $34.1 billion trade surplus with the U.S.in September, taking the surplus for the year to date to $225.8 billion, according to Chinese statistics released on Friday.

China is not backing down as tensions escalate with the United States, issuing a mock-proposal yesterday that the trade deficit would be easily closed if America sold expensive military equipment to Beijing.

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After imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods over the summer, the Trump administration last month added a 10 percent tariffs to another $200 billion worth of Chinese products, encompassing everything from household items like furniture and toys to industrial equipment. "With stable fuel demand, we have been scooping up crude oil, pushing up premiums of some crude grades", the source said, but some local refiners have begun to worry about where oil prices are headed, expecting slimmer profit margins as a result.

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. It was a 22 percent jump from the same month past year.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries including the U.S. - logged a $31.7bn surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

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For January-September, China's trade surplus with the United States was $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period past year.

While the data showed China's trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

But US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Friday he is not "losing any sleep" over the prospect of China selling its stockpile of US government bonds, CNBC reported.

"We will watch for downside risks to China's exports" in the fourth quarter, Wang said.

The world's largest trading nation got off to a strong start this year, but its economic outlook is being clouded by the escalating US trade dispute and cooling domestic demand. "Their economy has gone down very substantially and I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".

"They want to negotiate, they want to negotiate badly, but I told them, 'You're not ready yet".

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"The way the USA has structured the tariffs encourages frontloading because firms that know they're going to hit with tariffs would rather pay 10 percent than 25 percent", he said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he told China's central bank chief that currency issues need to be part of any further U.S.

China has denied it is interfering. The Chinese currency has been falling in value against the dollar in recent months, raising concerns that Beijing is devaluing its currency to make Chinese goods more competitive against US products.

President Trump has taken a hard line stance against China, vowing to increase tariffs until a fair trade agreement can be reached.

These include a high bilateral trade surplus with the United States, a global current account surplus above three percent of gross domestic product and "persistent" one-way currency market intervention to weaken or prevent a rise in a country's currency.

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