China’s trade with the US shrank last month as the world’s two largest trading countries remain locked in a tariff war that threatens to be a drag on the world’s economy.
China’s exports to the US – its largest trading partner – fell 16 percent in August, compared to a year earlier to $44.4 billion and imports of US products plummeted to 22 percent to $10.3 billion, the Associated Press reported on Sunday, citing US customs data.
Washington and Beijing last Sunday imposed new penalties on billions of dollars of goods, and the Trump administration is expected to roll out more in October and December.
“The tit-for-tat escalation shows how unlikely a trade deal and de-escalation have become,” Louis Kuijs, of Oxford Economics, wrote in a report. “Meanwhile, the global trade weakness looks set to linger, which will continue to weigh on demand for China’s exports.”
US and Chinese officials are expected to meet later this month to lay the groundwork for high-level talks sometime in October – although Beijing has said existing tariffs must be removed before a deal can be reached.
China has also lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization, alleging the new tariffs violate a deal agreed upon by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping during June’s G-20 summit in Osaka.
Last Sunday, Trump followed through with his plan to slap 15 percent tariffs on about $112 billion of Chinese imports, including footwear, clothing and technology like Apple Watches.
China also began putting 5 percent and 10 percent tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US products.
With Post Wires
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