China's Trade With US Sinks in November Amid Tariff War

Marco Green
December 8, 2019

UBS projects overall GDP growth to average 1.1 percent in 2020, with tariffs generally weighing heavily in the first half of the year.

China's trade surplus for November stood at $38.73 billion, compared with an expected $46.30 billion surplus in the poll and a $42.81 billion surplus recorded in October.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Thursday that if China and the USA reach a phase one trade agreement, the tariffs should be reduced.

In a sign that a final "phase one" agreement is likely some time away, Kudlow revealed conversations are now happening at the "deputy level".

The dispute has disrupted global trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment and threatens to depress economic growth.

Completion of a phase one deal had been initially expected in November, ahead of a new round of U.S. tariffs scheduled to kick in on Dec 15.

US President Donald Trump lashed out at the World Bank on Friday for loaning money to China.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping would "rather continue to discuss and negotiate with President Trump", he said citing an unnamed American statesman who recently came back from a visit to China.

Chinese spokespeople have expressed hope for a settlement "as soon as possible", but Trump spooked financial markets last week by saying he might be willing to wait until after the USA presidential election late next year.

The "Phase 1" agreement doesn't cover contentious issues including USA complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

The public rebuke of the World Bank comes as the United States and China are striving to strike a deal to end an 18-month trade war.

The better-than-expected import data may point to firming domestic demand after factory activity showed surprising signs of improvement recently, although analysts have noted the recovery could be hard to sustain amid trade risks.

China's exporters have been hurt by the USA tariff hikes but its overall economy has been unexpectedly resilient.

Kudlow, speaking to reporters at the White House, described the waivers as "good mood music" for the negotiations between the world's two largest economies.

Weaker Chinese demand has global repercussions, depressing demand for industrial raw materials and components from other Asian economies and oil, iron ore and other commodities from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.

A U.S. House bill targeting China's camps for ethnic Muslim minorities in Xinjiang and other bills supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have also angered Beijing, further clouding prospects for a deal.

Kudlow said the two sides have talked nearly daily, but there are now no plans for in-person talks or a signing ceremony between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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