Chinese Trade Surplus With US In 2018, But Tariffs Hit December Numbers

While for the entire of 2018, the trade surplus of China with the United States got bigger, there was a drop in the imports and exports of the country in December potentially because of the trade war and tariffs which are starting to tackle a toll on the Chinese economy – the second largest economy of the world.

US president Donald Trump has been severely criticising the trade surplus of China with the US which was one of the reasons that the Trump administration imposed tariffs on the import of Chinese goods worth billions of dollars last year and issued warnings of more such tariffs in 2019.

But for the entire year, according to customs data, the tariffs seemed to have little effect as Chinese exports to the US rose by 11.3 per cent while imports grew by 0.7 per cent which increased China’s trade surplus with America to $323.3 billion compared to $275.8 billion in 2017.

However there was a drop in the exports from China to the US which is being considered ot be a suggestion of a direct impact of the tariffs imposed by the White House.

It was just last week the a high level trade delegation meeting for three ways between the US and China was held in Beijing as a part of an effort on both sides to strike a trade agreement within the 90 day truce to the trade war that was agreed upon by Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in December.

The Trump administration is demanding that China makes more purchase of US products so that the trade deficit that the US has with China gets smaller. The US also wants greater access to various sectors of the Chinese economy for US companies.

Large quantities of American soybeans are typically imported by China during the second half of the year which is bt far the most valuable US export to the China.

However following the imposition of 25 per cent tariff on the import of American soy last summer, there had been a drop in the import of American sot into China in 2018.  Accoridng to customs data, last year, there was a drop of 7.9 per cent in the total imports of soybeans from the US to China to 88 million tonnes.

This tear, China will try to iron out the trade spat with the US, said Chinese commerce minister to the state media on Friday.

Compared to a year earlier, there was a drop of 4.4 per cent in the overall exports of China for December of 2018 while there was a drop of 7.6 per cent in imports which indicated a drop in demand in the domestic economy and in the foreign markets.

According to analysts, there can be a further slowdown in global growth this year and export growth would remain low even if a trade deal is struck between the US and China.

(Adapted from


Categories: Economy & Finance, Geopolitics, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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