Amid tariff war, China's exports to U.S. fall 23% to $35.6 bn

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 8, 2019

Containers are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China August 6, 2019.

China's exports fell in November as shipments to the USA slowed sharply, adding to concerns about the effects of the two nations' trade war.

The World Bank said Saturday its loans to China have fallen and will continue to be reduced, amid criticism from US President Donald Trump over lending to the world's second largest economy.

China's global exports were off 1.1% from a year earlier at $221.7 billion despite weakening worldwide demand.

And here was Trump after he summoned reporters to the Oval Office on October 11 following what he sold as a deal-signing meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He: "And we've come to a very substantial "phase one" deal".

Washington and Beijing are trying to reach agreement on a "phase one" trade deal that would cool a 17-month trade war that has roiled financial markets, disrupted supply chains and weighed on global economic growth.

Optimism over a US-China truce has helped push the major Wall Street indexes to all-times highs recently, with the benchmark S&P 500 logging a gain of more than 20 percent so far in 2019.

Speaking to reporters this week President Donald Trump dodged questions on whether a new round of tariffs on about United States dollars 160 billion in Chinese goods - likely to include sportswear and mobile phones - would take effect as scheduled on December 15. Trump has suggested he would postpone the tariffs if a deal is struck.

Talking to reporters at the White House on Friday morning, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said that he didn't want to "make any forecasts about any dates" when it comes to the trade agreement.

China has demanded that some of the existing USA tariffs imposed on about US$375 billion (RM1.5 trillion) worth of its exports be removed, in addition to cancellation of the December 15 tariffs on some US$156 billion of its remaining exports to the United States.

Trump has demanded that China commit to specific minimum purchases of U.S. agricultural products, among other concessions on intellectual property rights, currency and access to China's financial services markets.

Donald Trump has called upon the World Bank to stop lending money to China, while saying that Beijing has "plenty of money" of its own or can "create" it if it wishes to. Imports of American goods were off 2.8% at $11 billion, giving China a surplus with the United States of $24.6 billion.

Imports of copper rose 12.1% on the previous month as an improvement in the manufacturing sector stoked higher demand for the red metal, customs data showed on Sunday. But as the latest swings show, lack of a resolution to a trade dispute that has lasted almost two years continues to weigh on the market.

The comments, published on the president's official Twitter account, were made just a day after the World Bank adopted a new plan to provide China with at least $1 billion in low-interest loans annually despite Washington's objections.

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