China's trade surplus with USA swells in June

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Wang said he had been under the impression that four rounds of high level talks in recent months between China and the United States had averted the trade war.

In the first six months of the year, China's exports to the U.S. rose 13.6% from a year earlier, while imports from the USA increased by 11.8%.

The June figures may have received a boost from USA and Chinese traders who rushed to fill orders for soybeans, ball bearings and other goods in both directions before threatened tariff hikes took effect.

Last week, the United States and China introduced tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of each other's exports.

"Those talks produced progress, so much so that the United States government said they would put the trade war on hold, but all of a sudden an announcement was made to impose tariffs on imports from China".

"Looking ahead, export growth will cool in the coming months as USA tariffs start to bite alongside a broader softening in global demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, Senior China Economist at Capital Economics in Singapore wrote in a note, though he noted a weaker yuan should help offset some of the decline.

As the US-China trade war escalates, the latest trade numbers appear to back Washington's biggest gripe with Beijing.

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The expanding trade surplus was largely because of smaller imports. But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said this week that China was moving forward on giving greater market access to Indian drug makers. "Not only will Chinese exporters suffer but American consumers as well", she said. He attributes the difficulty of manufacturing goods in the U.S. to "taxes and regulations and safety issues" that he says makes it hard to run a business.

Exports rose 11.3 per cent over a year earlier to $216.7 billion, down from May's 12.6 per cent growth, customs data showed Friday.

Companies worry the spiralling dispute might dampen global trade and economic growth.

"But it could go up to $20 if we had to make them in the USA and embroider them here", Lassoff said.

China imported American goods worth $13.6 billion in June while exporting $42.6 billion to the United States.

In a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as it hit U.S. imports with extra tariffs, China had dropped import tariffs on a range of animal feed ingredients from several Asian countries.

The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the centre of the trade dispute, continued to move in favour of China.

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