China trade surplus with U.S. widens to record $34.1 billion

US President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2017.

China's overall trade - what it buys and sells with all countries including the U.S. - logged a $31.7 billion surplus, as exports rose faster than imports.

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that previous USA administrations had allowed China to pursue unfair trade for too long and that it was time for him to stop it. "With stable fuel demand, we have been scooping up crude oil, pushing up premiums of some crude grades", a crude trader with an independent refinery said before the data was released.

China's trade surplus with the United States grew 10 percent in September from a record $31bn in August, according to China's customs administration - a 22 percent jump from the same month previous year.

The Energy Department said it would not end exports to China but would show greater scrutiny and that there "will be a presumption of denial" for new licenses related to the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp.

"With global growth likely to cool further in the coming quarters and USA tariffs set to become more punishing, the recent resilience of exports is unlikely to be sustained", he said. Apple, for instance, has an established supply chain in the world's second-largest economy, with the Greater China region accounting for about a fifth of its sale.

"We understand that the USA industry may suffer in the short term from this decision", the official said. China's main export market is Asia, and that hasn't changed much.

"They lived too well for too long and, frankly, I guess they think the Americans are stupid people". "It's had a big impact", Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends. However, some speculate that China, instead of continuing to match tariffs (in which case it will run out of options first), might hit the USA in a more significant way: by selling its hoard of U.S. securities, worth $1.17 trillion.

"Their economy has gone down very substantially", he said.

"If they decide they don't want to hold them, there are other buyers", Mnuchin said in an interview with the outlet. "I don't want to do it but they have to come to the table".

"And that we're going to be make sure we don't have forced joint transfers and forced transfer of technology".

"China and the US maintain communication on dialogues and exchanges at all levels", Lu told reporters at a daily briefing.

While the data showed China's trade remained strong for the month, analysts forecast the trade war will start to hurt in coming months.

These include a high bilateral trade surplus with the United States, a global current account surplus above three percent of gross domestic product and "persistent" one-way currency market intervention to weaken or prevent a rise in a country's currency.

Trump renewed his charge that past presidents Obama and George W. Bush "let China get out of control" through the massive U.S. imports of manufactured goods.

The US treasury secretary is convinced there are "other buyers" for China's stock of more than $1 trillion worth of US securities. We have helped rebuild it.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang offered no specifics, but said that "I have also seen the relevant reports".


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