China says 'bully' United States started a trade war

20180706-China-US-trade-chart-NEW

Washington added 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

China's June trade grew by double digits amid mounting tensions with Washington but Beijing warned its exporters to face "rising instabilities and uncertainties".

China reported a trade surplus of $41.61 billion in June, compared with $24.92 billion in May, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.

This is the highest surplus in any month since 1999. So far China has responded in kind, adding tariffs to $34bn of goods from the U.S. and threatening "firm and forceful measures" to match the threat of tariffs on $200bn worth of United States exports.

The dispute has jolted global financial markets, raising worries a full-scale trade war could derail the world economy.

China's June exports rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase according to the latest Reuters poll of 39 analysts, and down from a 12.6 percent gain in May.

Analysts expect to see the impact of the tariffs in the coming months, warning of a less favorable trade balance for China.

Separate customs data on Friday showed imports of commodities from soybeans to crude oil eased compared with a year ago, but China's steel mills and aluminium smelters sold much more overseas spurred by higher worldwide prices amid growing concerns about slowing demand growth.

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However, a lower yuan would make it more expensive for China to import United States goods.

Against this overall background, Australia is in the fortunate position of avoiding a trade dispute with the U.S. and largely being spared from the impact of the new USA tariffs.

Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.

Asked if China was breaking WTO rules by imposing retaliatory tariffs on United States goods without first launching a formal legal dispute, Wang said China could not wait years for a ruling on the U.S. move and had acted "in line with the spirit of global law".

The new tariffs would kick in within 60 days.

But, he said, China has another option - Beijing could reduce the impact of United States tariffs on exporters by devaluing the yuan to make its goods cheaper for American consumers.

"Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she told the BBC.

"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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