Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Prospect of Trump-Xi talks raises hope for thaw in trade war

Prospect of Trump-Xi talks raises hope for thaw in trade war

That surplus widened to a record $34.1 billion in September as exports to the American market rose 13 percent from a year earlier to $46.7 billion, down slightly from August's 13.4 percent growth.

Year-on-year, its overall exports grew faster than expected in September, at 14.5 per cent in dollar terms compared with 9.8 per cent in August, while growth of imports slowed to 14.3 per cent from 20 per cent, the customs administration said.

The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other's goods mid-September, with the USA targeting $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60 billion worth of United States goods.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. grew 10 percent in September from a record $31bn in August, according to China's customs administration - a 22 percent jump from the same month past year.

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"We expect the dynamic to change once we get a bit deeper into this, but for now China is trying to outrun the next round of tariffs", he said.

China's trade surplus with the U.S. in September was more than China's total trade surplus of US$31.7 billion. "So we'll see", Kudlow said.

While the data showed China's trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

Analysts say a sharp depreciation of the yuan has also helped China weather the tariffs by making its exports cheaper.

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"They lived too well for too long", Trump said of the Chinese during his Fox News interview.

"I have a lot more to do if I want to do it". The Chinese currency has been falling in value against the dollar in recent months, raising concerns that Beijing is devaluing its currency to make Chinese goods more competitive against US products.

The Chinese yuan has lost almost 10 percent of its value against the USA dollar this year. "If China wants the surplus to come down, they have to embark on structural reforms".

In Bali, Indonesia, where he's attending global finance meetings, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, "We are having discussions about a potential meeting". That prompted Mr Trump to threaten to extend the tariffs to nearly all China's $500 billion of exports.

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The IMF also lowered estimates for the United States and the global economy as a whole.

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