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09 August 2018, 04:39 | Kelvin Horton
China Tariffs on $16B Finalized for August 23 by Trump Administration STR AFP Getty Images 7 Aug 2018Washington DC
China's exports to the U.S. fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of USA goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.
This round of tariffs is the second to be imposed under the Trump administration, following an earlier round in which $34 billion of Chinese imports saw altered charges starting July 6th. "This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said on Wednesday. The U.S. Trade Representative's Office is reviewing tariffs on a further US$200 billion in Chinese imports and those duties could start once a comment period ends on September 6.
The surplus with the United States was higher than China's overall trade surplus in July, which was $28.05 billion, indicating China ran a net trade deficit with the world excluding the U.S.
Mr Trump has said he would be willing to hit all of China's imports with duties.
"We're not yet past the point of no return but we're edging closer to it", said Wang Tao, head of China economic research at UBS AG in Hong Kong.
"Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy makers as part of the retaliation measures", Wang said.
The office said the move is part of the US response to China's unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.
Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the United States slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.
"[The] trade data don't show any significant impact from the first round of U.S. tariffs", Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to investors. "Additional trade war bickering could destroy the business models for many vehicles".
"My expectation is that U.S. tariffs on $250 billion of imports from China will be in effect about a month prior to the November U.S. elections".
China uses joint venture requirements, foreign investment restrictions, and administrative review and licensing processes to require or pressure technology transfer from US companies.
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