Tariffs do not appear to have dented the appetite for Chinese-made products in the United States Photo: AFP

China's trade surplus with U.S. hits new record in August

By Julien Girault

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a new record $31 billion in August despite a raft of U.S. tariffs, official data showed Saturday, adding fuel to the flames of a searing trade war.

The figures were released hours after President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on the totality of Chinese goods imported into the United States, worth half a trillion dollars.

The world's two biggest economies have been locked in a months-long trade dispute, with negotiations going nowhere and fears that it could damage the global economy.

Trump imposed customs duties of up to 25 percent on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods in July, and on another $16 billion in August, triggering swift tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.

But the tariffs do not appear to have dented the appetite for Chinese-made products in the United States.

Chinese exports to the United States rose to $44.4 billion in August, a 13.2 percent increase from the same period last year, according to customs data. Imports from the United States reached $13.3 billion, a two percent increase from the previous year.

China's trade surplus with the United States reached $31 billion in August, an 18.7 percent increase from the same month last year and up from its previous record, $28.9 billion, in June this year, according to customs data.

While China's trade surplus with the United States grew again, it remained stable with the rest of the world at $27.9 billion in August.

Global exports increased by 9.8 percent while its imports rose by 20 percent compared to the same month last year, according to customs data.

The figures were well below July's performance, when exports had jumped 12.2 percent and imports grew 27 percent.

Trump has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win" and warned he would hit virtually all Chinese imports if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce its $335 billion surplus with the U.S.

He said Friday that tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods are "in the hopper" and "could take place very soon".

Beijing has warned that it would hit back with duties on $60 billion in American products -- a much smaller figure that shows China will not be able to match U.S. tariffs dollar-for-dollar.

But businesses warn there are other ways China can strike back, through regulations and other administrative means, or even through sales of its large holdings of U.S. Treasury debt.

Trump told reporters traveling with him to Fargo, North Dakota that "behind that, there's another $267 billion ready to go on short notice if I want."

That would cover virtually all the goods imported from the world's second largest economy.

"That totally changes the equation," Trump said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow just hours before said talks with Beijing were continuing to try to defuse the conflict, and that he was hopeful that a solution could be found.

The last effort at a negotiated solution came in late August with meetings between low-level officials, but nothing came of it.

In Beijing, China's Commerce Ministry said Thursday it was ready to retaliate.

"If the U.S. dogmatically implements any new tariff measures against China, China will have to take the necessary countermeasures," commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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2 ( +4 / -2 )

What happening ? What's happening ?

2 ( +4 / -2 )


trade wars are easy to win. LOL

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'd be interested in seeing a full blown trade war with 100% of all their goods being tariffed between these two countries. Of course, I only say this since I'm not living in either of these countries but I would be interested in seeing real world results of a long-time hypothetical situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don’t care. Just don’t let it escalate to military war.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What happening ? What's happening ?

game over man!, game over!, what are we going to do now! what are we going to do!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So even with all that, it's still growing and not even just holding from years past

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If I were a US business that used Chinese imports, perhaps, maybe, I'd pre-purchase inventory for the fall or even next year.


I buy natural gas/heating oil for the year in the summer to avoid the higher prices demanded in the winter months. Same idea.

The best answer would be for China to open their markets to the world for fair competition and to go after local companies violating intellectual property, trademark and copyright laws.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm with @Speed and @talaraedokko on this one. Let them go at it while the rest of the world watches.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan China surplus too


0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Kenji Fujimori

silly, never pick a side in others war, reap the benefit from it instead

besides, Japan has surplus with China, not the other way around

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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