The Trade War Scorecard
China’s trade surplus with the United States eased in July after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese goods in a showdown between the world’s two biggest economies, official data showed Wednesday.
The Asian giant posted a $28.1 billion surplus last month after reporting a record $28.9 billion in June according to Chinese customs data.
The dip is unlikely to ease tensions with the White House, which on July 6 imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products entering the US, triggering an instant tit-for-tat response from Beijing.
US officials said Tuesday they would slap 25 percent levies on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports from August 23.
The move had been widely expected but with China lining up retaliatory measures it reinforced worries that the two sides are heading for an all-out trade war that could hammer the global economy.
The White House has also lined up another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to target in future.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday predicted US economic growth would soon hit above five percent in a bullish speech hailing his administration’s business record.
Speaking to business leaders at a lavish dinner party at his New Jersey golf course, Trump said growth “could be in the fives” by the next quarter.
“Nobody thought would be anywhere above, even close to 2 (percent), and we’re at 4.1. And I think we’re going much higher,” he said.
“We anticipate this next quarter to be, this is just an estimate, but already they’re saying it could be in the fives,” he added.
With the size of the American economy now surpassing $20 trillion, GDP expanded by 4.1 percent in the April-June quarter, making the United States the fastest-growing of advanced countries, according to a government report.
The second quarter acceleration — the highest in four years — came in part after the injection of stimulus and Republican tax cuts.
But economists warned it could be a blip caused by temporary factors, including a one-off bounce produced by Trump’s trade confrontation with China.
The White House is counting on faster growth to pay for December’s sweeping tax cuts by generating higher revenues.
But federal tax receipts are already plummeting, widening the federal budget deficit, just as the costs of borrowing increase due to mounting interest rates.