As US slaps on fresh tariffs, China fires back

Cars to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang Jiangsu province China

Cars to be exported are seen at a port in Lianyungang Jiangsu province China

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25 percent charge on $16 billion worth of US goods including coal, grease, Vaseline, asphalt and plastic products, and recyclables. But it was 11 percent higher than in the same month previous year.

The headline numbers are the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world's second-largest economy since U.S duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

The US has said it will impose further tariffs on Chinese goods starting 23 August, as a trade war between the world's two biggest economies continues.

In July, China's exports rose by 6 percent to 1.39 trillion yuan, a reading that beat market expectations, Huatai Securities said in a research note. Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.

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China's announcement is a direct response to new duties on Chinese goods imported into the United States, announced Tuesday in Washington.

During the same period, trade with the European Union, its largest trading partner, climbed 5.9 percent, and trade volume with ASEAN countries increased by 11.6 percent. With higher oil prices this year and the taxes they now can't avoid paying, the teapots are expected to reduce their imports, threatening China's oil demand growth, and ultimately, global oil demand growth.

The US decision to levy 25 per cent tariffs on the same value of Chinese goods is "very unreasonable", and China will have to retaliate to protect its rightful interests and the multilateral trading system, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

Year-on-year, the growth of China's exports to the U.S. slowed to 11 percent last month from 12.5 percent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 percent from 9 percent.

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Last month, independent refiner Shandong Haiyou Petrochemical Group filed for bankruptcy, the first such filing in recent years.

China has been seeking a more balanced trade pattern, with a series of pro-import policies introduced.

The policy incentives have had positive impacts on imports, Huatai Securities noted.

The world's largest exporter, China is still benefiting from robust global demand even as increasing tensions and rising trade barriers with the United States weigh on the outlook.

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