China's July exports rise more than expected despite USA tariffs

Sales at 50 major Chinese retailers fell by 3.9 per cent in July from a year earlier, raising concerns over whether Beijing can push through its plan to ramp up domestic consumption to offset the effects of the intensifying US-China trade war.

The Trump administration has accused China of unfair trade practices, and President Donald Trump has long vowed to bring down the United States' trade deficit in goods with Beijing.

But China exports far more to the United States than the other way round, making it more challenging for the country to hit back against USA tariffs. For instance, the major complaint is about the theft of United States intellectual property by Chinese firms.

Amid a steep correction in crude prices, China said on Wednesday that it would impose a 25-percent tariff on U.S. imports worth US$16 billion, including crude oil, diesel, cars, coal, and steel products, in retaliation to the U.S. list of US$16 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be taxed by U.S. authorities from August 23.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh USA duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as Washington finalised its new tariff list in a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth. However, analysts still expect a less favorable trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl. That was off slightly from June's 13.6% rate but still stronger than China's global export growth.

The escalating trade conflict between the world's two largest economies...has seen the two sides impose tariffs on 34-billion dollars worth of each other's goods.

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China in turn retaliated by proposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 percent.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump's "America First" policies could derail a global economic revival. The additional tariffs will go into effect on August 23.

All China's main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled "declaration", on their front pages.

China has already retaliated with duties of its own, and has pledged to match the United States dollar for dollar with new tariffs.

"With each successive round of tariffs, Trump continues to back China into a corner, forcing Beijing to respond in kind", said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of worldwide law firm Perkins Coie and a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement they were disappointed and puzzled why semiconductors remain on the final tariff list.

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