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What does China's record US trade surplus mean for tariffs?

Reuters Studio - July 13, 2018

China's trade surplus with the United States swelled to a record in June as its overall exports remained solid, a result that could further inflame a bitter trade dispute with Washington.

Thuy Ong reports

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What does China's record US trade surplus mean for tariffs?

It's a result that will likely infuriate Trump.

China's trade surplus with the US has swelled to a record in June.

That's thanks to exporters rushing shipments, before tariffs went into effect early July.

China's trade surplus with the US widened to a monthly high of nearly $29 billion, up from $24.6 billion in May.

Exports rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier.

(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINA'S GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF CUSTOMS SPOKESMAN, HUANG SONGPING, SAYING: "The current unilaterism and trade protectionism of certain countries is presenting particular challenges to the stable development of global trade.

Faced with the current trends of change in foreign trade, we have the confidence and ability to deal with this." China's trade surplus with the US is at the core of the tariff stand-off, Trump has demanded Beijing cut the surplus, and he could use this latest result to add further pressure on China.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENIOR MARKETS ANALYST, OANDA, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "It seems that the only diplomatic solution that Trump and his team are interested in is one in which China makes concessions opens up its markets and removes tariffs on U.S. goods and tries to bring down the deficit but this doesn't seem to be something that the Chinese are interested in doing right now particularly against such hostility." The tit-for-tat trade dispute has made markets jittery Chinese stocks fell into bear market territory, While the yuan has also lost ground, though there are signs China's central bank will implement measures to slow its decline.

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