China's March exports shrink 2.7 percent, imports weaken

US President Donald Trump and China counterpart Xi Jinping. A clash between two strongmen leaders running the two biggest economies could lay waste to stability in markets everywhere

A Chinese couple died in a car crash. Four years later, their child was born.

His remarks assume significance as both the U.S. and China are locked in a virtual trade war, slapping additional import duties against each other's products.

According to the median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey, growth maintained a 6.8-percent pace, well ahead of a target for about 6.5-percent expansion this year.

That sent its quarterly trade surplus with the United States surging 19.4 per cent to US$58.25 billion (RM225.6 billion), though the March reading narrowed to US$15.43 billion from US$20.96 billion in February.

Still, while no hard timeline has been set by either Washington or Beijing for the actual imposition of tariffs, analysts said China's exporters may already be adapting their strategies as punitive trade measures loom. Indeed, the latest soundbites from Beijing will probably send the White House into fits of exasperation after China's trade figures were announced. Chinese exports to the USA grew by 15% year-on-year, reaching USD99.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury Department is working up bans on Chinese investment in advanced US technology targeting China's subsidization of its domestic tech industries that it wants to them into technology champions. Now, they hadn't sold it in, what, 14 years or something. Shipments of copper, crude oil, iron ore and soybeans all rose from the previous month. That left China with a rare trade deficit for the month, also the first drop since last February.

Mr Jing said the measures being taken by the Trump White House run counter to the principles and spirit of the WTO and are not beneficial to the United States and its economic interest.

The mover appeared to mark an escalation of President Xi Jinping's (習近平) aggressive stance against Taiwan Independence and on disputes in the South China Sea.

Trump is demanding that Beijing take steps to narrow its trade deficit with the USA, which Washington says stood at a record $375.2 billion previous year.

China's tech sector, which is key part of Beijing's longer-term "Made in China 2025" strategy to move from cheap goods to higher-value manufacturing, may be particularly vulnerable.

A day later, Beijing fired back with a plan to impose import duties on $50bn worth of American products, inclusive of soy beans, cars and airplanes.

Trade between the two nations remained strong in the first quarter, with bilateral exchanges rising 13 percent to $142 billion.

Latest News