China trade surplus with US widens to record $34.1B

Trump Chinese lived too well for too long

Reuters Liau Chung-ren

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday there was much more he could do that would hurt China's economy further, showing no signs of backing off an escalating trade war with Beijing.

China's trade surplus with the United States surged to a record high of $34.13 billion in September, compared with $31.05 billion in August, Chinese customs data showed on Friday.

September marked the second straight record Chinese monthly trade surplus with the United States.

More than the tariffs, the worsening trade imbalance is also a reflection of the two countries' economies, experts said. The tariffs are set to rise to 25 percent in January if the trade dispute is not resolved by then, and Trump has vowed to impose tariffs on the remaining $267 billion worth of Chinese imports. -China trade frictions "have been escalating and other instable factors still exist caused by a number of economic uncertainties worldwide", spokesman Li Kuiwen said.

"It's obvious that the immediate effects of the trade war are the exact opposite of what the Trump administration had been planning", Andrew Polk of Beijing-based research firm Trivium China tells the Post.

China's export data has been surprisingly resilient to tariffs, possibly as companies ramped up shipments before stiffer US duties go into effect, but factory surveys have shown export orders have been shrinking for several months.

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

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Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive US tariffs of up to 25 percent.

The yuan has fallen for weeks against the United States dollar, dropping nine percent in the past six months, which mitigates the rise in the price of Chinese goods caused by punitive United States tariffs.

But he and Xi Jinping will have a chance to work things out when they meet likely next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

"I have a lot more to do if I want to do it".

He said they've had a "big impact" in damaging China's economy, claiming Washington's trade deficit with Beijing has gone down substantially.

"I don't want to do it, but they have to come to the table", he continued.

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