July 12, 2018 11:51 PM
BEIJING (AP) — China's June trade grew by double digits amid mounting tensions with Washington but Beijing warned its exporters face "rising instabilities and uncertainties."
Exports rose 11.3 percent over a year earlier to $216.7 billion, down from May's 12.6 percent growth, customs data showed Friday. Imports expanded by 14.1 percent to $175.1 billion, down from the previous month's 26 percent.
The June figures may have received a boost from U.S. and Chinese traders who rushed to fill orders for soybeans, ball bearings and other goods in both directions before threatened tariff hikes took effect.
Washington added 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6 in response to complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology. China retaliated with higher duties on a similar amount of American goods.
The Trump administration announced a possible second round of tariff hikes this week targeting a $200 billion list of thousands of Chinese products. Beijing criticized the measure but has yet to say how it might respond.
Companies worry the spiraling dispute might dampen global trade and economic growth.
"There will be challenges facing foreign trade with rising instabilities and uncertainties in the global environment," said a Chinese customs agency report.
June exports to the United States grew faster than China's total with the world, expanding by 13.6 percent over a year ago in a possible sign exporters were rushing to fill orders.
China imported American goods worth $13.6 billion in June while exporting $42.6 billion to the United States. The politically volatile trade surplus with the United States widened by 14.2 percent to $29 billion.
China is running out of American goods for retaliatory tariffs due to their lopsided trade balance.
Last year's imports from the United States totaled about $130 billion. That leaves about $80 billion for penalty tariffs after Beijing's previous increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $50 billion of U.S. goods are counted.
Chinese leaders have stepped up efforts, so far without success, to recruit governments including Germany and France as allies. They criticize President Donald Trump's tactics but share U.S. complaints about Beijing's industrial policy and market barriers.
General Administration of Customs of China (in Chinese): www.customs.gov.cn
AP Writer Yanan Wang contributed.
By JOE McDONALD
Updated: July 12, 2018 11:51 PM
Created: July 12, 2018 11:44 PM
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