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14 July 2018, 03:58 | Glen Norman
A worker sorting canned peaches for export at a factory in Xiayi in China's central Henan province
China's total exports rose 11.3% year-on-year in June, beating a Bloomberg News forecast of 9.5%.
The United States has started a trade war and China will defend itself, Chinese vice-minister of commerce Wang Shouwen said on Thursday (July 12), urging the United States to "take the gun" of tariffs away to smooth the way for talks.
Against this overall background, Australia is in the fortunate position of avoiding a trade dispute with the USA and largely being spared from the impact of the new U.S. tariffs.
"Those talks produced progress, so much so that the U.S. government said they would put the trade war on hold, but all of a sudden an announcement was made to impose tariffs on imports from China".
Beijing said China's surplus with the USA hit an all-time high $28.97 billion last month, while exports to the country hit a record $42.62 billion. So far China has responded in kind, adding tariffs to $34bn of goods from the USA and threatening "firm and forceful measures" to match the threat of tariffs on $200bn worth of United States exports.
Last week, the United States and China introduced tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of each other's exports.
For January-June, it rose to $133.76 billion, compared with about $117.51 billion in the same period previous year.
US President Donald Trump had already threatened to impose additional tariffs if China - the world's largest exporter - retaliates. They said as a outcome figures for July and August were likely to show a decline in exports to the US.
Earlier this week Donald Trump proposed a 10% tariff on $200bn of Chinese goods entering the United States, saying that tariffs already in place on steel and aluminium imports and $34bn of goods had failed to force significant reforms by Beijing.
China's trade surplus with the United States, which is at the center of the tariff tussle, widened to a record monthly high of $28.97 billion, up from $24.58 billion in May, according to Reuters calculations based on official data going back to 2008.
China's June trade grew by double digits amid mounting tensions with Washington but Beijing warned its exporters to face "rising instabilities and uncertainties".
However, a lower yuan would make it more expensive for China to import U.S. goods.
China's foreign trade faces risks of slowing in the second half of the year, General Administration of Customs spokesman Huang Songping told a news conference, though he said Beijing was capable of handling challenges.
"So we would be back to square one", Mr Kuo said, with China exporting more to the United States than it buys from the country.
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