China’s exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world’s two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.
In a statement on its official website, China’s commerce ministry criticised the U.S. move of collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods, as being unreasonable. It had no choice but to adopt the same measure on an equal amount of American goods ranging from oil and steel products to autos and medical equipment, it further added.
China’s exports for July rose a bigger than expected 12.2 percent year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June’s 11.2 percent rise and analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for 10 percent growth.
ANZ senior China economist Betty Wang said Beijing will likely resist using its closely managed currency as a tool in the trade war. “Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policymakers as part of the retaliation measures,” Wang said.
China’s trade with the U.S. also continued to rise in July despite the tariffs, with exports up 11.2 percent year-on-year, and imports increasing 11.1 percent.