China's trade surplus with U.S. swells in June

A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province

A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province

Donald Trump had recently upped the ante by threatening higher tariffs on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports.

The Modern Classic Hotel in the city of Shenzhen, in the southern Guangdong province, has displayed a sign warning its American guests that they will incur an additional 25 per cent "tax" on their bill.

"This trade dispute will definitely have an impact on China-US trade and will have a very negative impact on global trade", a Chinese customs administration spokesman said today. That leaves about $80 billion for penalty tariffs after Beijing's previous increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $50 billion of USA goods are counted.

"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as USA tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, the senior China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore, said. The trade surplus was 261.88 billion yuan last month, official data showed. China also said both its imports and exports with the USA rose in the first half of 2018.

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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.

The data comes as President Trump has ratcheted up a trade war with China and other close American trade partners, including Canada, Mexico and the European Union. So far, encouraged by strong job growth and expectations of good quarterly earnings reports, United States markets have been strong and the Australian market has reached a 10-year record high. Both official and private business surveys reported softer export orders last month.

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

But in a statement coming from the Chinese Commerce Ministry, The Asian nation said the surplus was overestimated and caused by America's own "domestic structural problems".

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The spiralling battle with Beijing shows no signs of cooling down, and observers warn the impact will begin to hurt soon as China's economy struggles with slowing growth just as leaders try to battle a worryingly large debt mountain.

The data could renew longstanding criticism from the United States and Europe that the world's top metal producer is selling its surplus product overseas, hurting foreign rivals.

The United States has started a trade war and China will defend itself, Chinese vice-minister of commerce Wang Shouwen said on Thursday (July 12), urging the United States to "take the gun" of tariffs away to smooth the way for talks.

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