Saturday, 23 June, 2018

USA trade gap rises to $56.6B, highest since 2008

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
Lisa Bryan | 10 March, 2018, 01:47

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has a "bounden duty to maintain peace and stability in our region and beyond", Wang told reporters at a news conference held on the fringes of the ceremonial legislature's annual meeting.

Most economists say they are caused by bigger economic forces, mainly the fact that the United States consistently spends more than it produces.

China has repeatedly accused countries outside the region - generally a reference to the United States and Japan - of trying to provoke trouble in the South China Sea while China and its neighbours are trying to resolve the matter through diplomacy.

Trade tensions between China and United States have risen since Trump took office. Our relationship with China has been a very good one, and we look forward to seeing what ideas they come back with.

While Beijing has launched warning shots-like trade investigations into USA goods such as sorghum, and hinted it could even take on soybeans, its largest US import-officials have worked to find a peaceful resolution.

Chinese foreign minister said on Thursday that China will respond as necessary in the event of a trade war with the U.S., warning that such a war would only harm all sides. On Wednesday, Trump hinted that his restrictions on trade could run even deeper, citing China's alleged theft of intellectual property.


"China would have to make a justified and necessary response", he said. "But there are few alternative sources for the main products the U.S. buys from China", the research firm said in a note on Wednesday.

When Liu He, a senior Chinese official involved in shaping Beijing's economic policies, visited Washington last week to discuss bilateral trade with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. A $1 billion reduction is a drop in the bucket considering the fact that the USA trade deficit with China in 2017 was $375 million.

"The lessons of history show engaging in a trade war is never the right way to resolve problems", said foreign minister Wang.

"The bigger picture is that while China's trade surplus with most of the world has declined during the past year...its surplus with the US has continued to expand", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics in a note.

U.S. President Donald Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminium on Thursday. He blames persistent deficits on abusive practices by US trading partners and on bad trade deals that put American companies at a disadvantage or encourage them to move factories overseas.

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