China's trade grows in June amid tensions with Washington

20180706-China-US-trade-chart-NEW

Asked if China was breaking WTO rules by imposing retaliatory tariffs on USA goods without first launching a formal legal dispute, Wang said China could not wait years for a ruling on the United States move and had acted "in line with the spirit of global law".

The June figures may have received a boost from USA and Chinese traders who rushed to fill orders for soybeans, ball bearings and other goods in both directions before threatened tariff hikes took effect.

China's trade surplus with the United States has grown to a record high of almost $29 billion in June. That leaves about $80 billion for penalty tariffs after Beijing's previous increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $50 billion of US goods are counted.

As the world's largest exporter, China has threatened retaliatory action against the tariffs and pledged that it would lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

In the first six months of the year, China's exports to the U.S. rose 13.6% from a year earlier, while imports from the United States increased by 11.8%.

Trump has launched a barrage of "Section 301" trade tariffs, punishing what he says is China's theft of intellectual property and unfair industrial policies.

Donald Trump had recently upped the ante by threatening higher tariffs on a colossal $200 billion of Chinese imports.

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While China continues to benefit from strong global demand for its goods for now, the rising trade tensions with the United States has the potential to hurt both sides.

China's commerce ministry confirmed last month that Chinese exporters were front-loading shipments to the United States to get ahead of expected tariffs - a situation that could exacerbate any slowdown in shipments toward the year-end.

But in a statement from its commerce ministry, China blamed those problems on the USA, saying the imbalance was "overestimated" and caused by America's own "domestic structural problems".

Chinese data released Friday showed that the U.S. trade deficit with China hit $28.97 billion in June, an increase of $4.39 billion from May, according to Reuters.

Separate data suggested some Chinese retailers moved up orders to the U.S.to insulate themselves from the intensifying trade war that threatens to send up costs on a growing number of consumer products. "Trade wars are not easy to win", he said.

In a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as it hit USA imports with extra tariffs, China had dropped import tariffs on a range of animal feed ingredients from several Asian countries.

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