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08 December 2018, 05:37 | Hattie Nash
Last week, as part of the trade war truce, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs on Dollars 200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 per cent beginning January 1, leaving them at the current 10 per cent rate.
The United States government collected $5 billion in import tariffs during the month of October and the numbers continue to climb as the Trump administration capitalizes on additional revenue stemming from the trade war with China.
High Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US soybeans have caused the USA exports of soybeans to drop by as much as 97 percent.
Mr Trump heightened nervousness by tweeting that there would be "a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all" at the end of their three-month peace window, "at which point we will be charging major tariffs against Chinese product".
Growth in imports for November slowed sharply to 3.0 percent from a 21.4 jump in October, and far missed analysts' forecast of 14.5 percent.
Stirring fears of a reignition of trade tension, the daughter of Huawei Technologies' founder, a top executive at the Chinese technology giant, was arrested in Canada on Dec 1 and faces extradition to the United States, threatening to drive a wedge between the US and China.
The two agreed a 90-day window starting from December 1 to try to resolve their differences, but if they can not do so then the threatened tariff increase will kick in on March 1.
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Other economic indicators also suggest that China's exports are facing stronger headwinds.
The new export order component in China's official purchasing managers' index had been contracting since June and barely picked up in November.
Xu Jianwei, senior China economist from French bank Natixis, said the bigger fall in imports from 21.4 per cent in October pointed to weakness in domestic demand but higher base number from November previous year also needed to be taken into account.
For trade with all countries, China's surplus was US$44.74 billion for November, compared with forecasts of US$34 billion and October's surplus of US$34.02 billion. Imports of iron ore fell for a second time, reflecting waning restocking demand at steel-mills as profit margins narrow.
The conference usually takes place in mid-December and is where senior policymakers agree directions for the following year's policy, details of which are released in March during the annual National People's Congress.
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