China's surging exports widen trade surplus with US

12 January, 2018, 15:15 | Author: Terri Saunders
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The billionaire's comments and economically nationalist platform - including pulling out of a key Pacific pact and threatening to tear up another with Canada - have fanned fears of a trade war.

Of note, particularly from a geopolitical perspective, China's trade surplus with the United States fell to $US25.55 billion from $US27.87 billion in November, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

China's exports and imports growth slowed in December after unexpectedly surging in the previous month, adding to signs of ebbing economic growth as the government extends a crackdown on financial risks and factory pollution.

China remains Russia's biggest trade partner in terms of trade turnover.

Customs is expected to release dollar-denominated trade data later on Friday.

A commerce ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said at a briefing on Thursday that China will "adopt all measures necessary to firmly protect the country's lawful interests and rights, should the USA perversely take unilateral protectionist actions".

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Estimates by the General Administration of Customs has showed that Chinese exports to Russia rose 14.8 percent to $42.9 billion past year, while Russian exports were up 27.7 percent to $41.2 billion.

It will be hard to keep double-digit trade growth this year given the many global uncertainties and a high comparison base, Huang said.

The world's second-largest economy reported strong overall trade data for 2017. The president has connected the two issues a number of times.

"I think the [December] slowdown is really mild - mostly in line with seasonality", said Victor You, an analyst with CLSA in Hong Kong, who tracks China's iron ore, coal, copper and copper concentrate imports, as well as its exports of steel products and aluminum.

Fuel imports previous year rose 6.4% to 29.64 million tonnes.

China can no longer rely on exports to grow its economy as it has done over the past 30 years, according to Zhang, because the model is now unsustainable and would put too much strain on ties with the rest of the world.

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