China trade surplus with United States hits historic high & timing couldn't be worse

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"It is the common duty of Europe and China, but also America and Russian Federation, not to destroy (the global trade order) but to improve it, not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history", Tusk said in Beijing. Imports expanded by 14.1 percent to $175.1 billion, down from the previous month's 26 percent.

Washington imposed 25% tariffs on 34 billion dollars' worth (£25 billion) of Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. The premier repeated official promises to open China's markets wider but didn't directly address complaints about industrial policy or investment barriers the United States, EU and other trading partners say violate its free-trade commitments.

Only 34 percent are not anxious about an impending trade war, with 11 percent not concerned at all. Chinese stocks fell into bear market territory and the yuan currency has skidded, though there have been signs in recent days its central bank is moving to slow the currency's declines.

The latest USA tariffs were announced days after China retaliated for an earlier round of US import taxes of up to 25 percent on items worth about $50 billion. China says the tariffs are illegal attempts at protectionism.

The conflict with Washington, coupled with weaker global demand, adds to challenges for Beijing as economic growth cools after regulators tightened controls on bank lending starting past year to rein in surging debt.

China imported American goods worth $13.6 billion.

Sixty-two percent of American adults are least somewhat concerned about a possible US trade war with China, including 32 percent who are very concerned, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday.

China's economy developed at a yearly pace of 6.7% in the three months to June, official information appeared, meeting estimates for the period.

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"Export growth will cool in the coming months as USA tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", said Evans-Pritchard.

The customs agency said in a report, "There will be challenges facing foreign trade with rising instabilities and uncertainties in the global environment".

China's global trade surplus in June narrowed by 10.9 percent to $41.6 percent.

Seeking to cushion trade blow? . And separate USA tariffs on aluminum and steel, which hit Canada, Mexico and the European Union, have also led to higher prices on some products, as NPR reported earlier this month.

In a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as it hit USA imports with extra tariffs, China had dropped import tariffs on a range of animal feed ingredients from several Asian countries. "But disappointing import figures point toward weakening domestic demand".

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.

"We expect the trade numbers for July to disappoint since that's when the first round of USA tariffs took effect", China analyst at Nordea Bank in Singapore Amy Zhuang told the BBC.

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