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U.S. Current-Account Deficit Narrowed in Second Quarter

The U.S. current account deficit, a measure of the nation’s trade and financial flows with other countries, narrowed to $101.46 billion in the second quarter from $121.71 billion in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $103.2 billion deficit. Last quarter’s deficit decline stemmed from increased services and goods exports. Foreign purchases of industrial supplies and materials, energy products and soybeans led the second quarter’s exported goods growth. On the services side, a bump in professional and management consulting ...

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New measures to encourage growth of foreign trade

China will roll out new measures including cutting customs clearance times, streamlining port services and improving the export tax rebate policy to increase opening-up and facilitate foreign trade, it was announced after a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. “The growth of foreign trade directly bears on boosting economic growth and upgrading domestic consumption. It is important to further improve current policies regarding export tax rebates and financial services,” Li said. It was decided at the meeting that China will see further steps to shorten the overall ...

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China trade official sees shake-up of WTO developing country rules

The World Trade Organization should bring in a new system to determine which countries are classed as “developing”, based on the size but also the structure of the economy, a senior official from China’s Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday. Currently WTO members can decide whether or not they are developing, entitling them to special treatment, which critics of the global body, including U.S. President Donald Trump, say undermines the rigour of the international trade system. Zhang Jianping, director of the ministry’s research centre for regional economic cooperation, told a seminar ...

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Euro zone current account surplus narrows in July

The current account surplus of the 19 countries sharing the euro narrowed to 21 billion euros in July from 24 billion euros in the previous month as the trade surplus also slipped, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday. In the 12 months to July 2018, the surplus increased to 3.5 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product from 3.3 percent in the preceding 12-month period, primarily on a surge in the surplus on services. The surplus, often criticised by the U.S. administration as excessive, is expected to narrow to ...

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U.S.-China Trade Tussle Is Creating Winners in Southeast Asia

“No one wins from a trade war,” is a standard refrain among economists. Southeast Asian businesses are trying to prove that maxim wrong. The region is capitalizing on a rush of new orders and production moves as firms reconsider their business in the U.S. and China amid a deepening trade war. About one-third of more than 430 American companies in China have or are considering moving production sites abroad amid the tensions, according to survey results released Sept. 13 by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai. Southeast Asia was their top ...

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New US trade action ‘poisons’ atmosphere, won’t work on China – regulator

The United State’s trade actions against China will not work as China has ample fiscal and monetary policy tools to cope with the impact, a senior securities market official said on Tuesday. Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), said at a conference in Tianjin that he hopes the two sides can sit down and negotiate on trade and that he looks forward to good China-U.S. trade relations over the long term. “President Trump is a hard-hitting businessman, and he tries to put pressure on China ...

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Trade war: how will Donald Trump’s tariffs on US$200 billion of goods affect China’s GDP?

The US’ latest announcement of tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products may knock about half a percentage point off China’s growth rate, according to officials and economists. That figure may be manageable, but the real challenge for Beijing in an escalating trade battle with the US is that China’s manufacturing base, which helped to underpin the country’s economic boom in the past four decades, may start be harmed, they said. Liu Shijin, the former vice-president at China’s Development Research Centre – a think-tank under the State Council, China’s ...

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China Ready to Ride Out Trade Storm – For Now

Chinese President Xi Jinping is keeping his options open with Donald Trump – for now. After the U.S. president announced that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would take effect next week, Beijing said it would immediately retaliate. It didn’t provide details, though previously it’s vowed levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. While it’s tough to read between the lines of Chinese government statements, the Commerce Ministry appeared to leave the door open for more negotiations. It simply said the new tariffs bring uncertainty, stopping short ...

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Trump vows ‘great and fast’ economic retaliation on China if it goes after American farmers

President Donald Trump, who drew a line in the sand Monday with China in officially announcing tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports to the U.S., is now threatening “great and fast” economic retaliation if China targets American farmers, ranchers or industrial workers. China said Tuesday it has “no choice” but to retaliate, according to a statement released Tuesday by its Commerce Ministry. It announced additional duties on $60 billion of American imports in a forced response to U.S. trade protectionism. Before the news from China was announced, Trump ...

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Trump Tariffs Set Stage for Drawn-Out Trade Battle With China

President Donald Trump’s decision to elevate his trade war with China to new heights sets the stage for a more prolonged battle between the world’s two largest economies. With a 10 percent tax on over 5,000 more products from China now taking effect next week, Trump changed the character of his campaign with Beijing in three ways, all of which suggest the dispute will not end soon. Long Haul The Trump administration is for the first time publicly planning for a trade spat that drags into 2019 and possibly beyond. ...

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Top Miner Sees U.S.-China Trade Spat Limiting Global Growth

Rising U.S.-China trade tensions threaten to curb consumer purchasing power, crimp productivity growth and limit global economic expansion, according to the world’s biggest mining company. The confrontation between the world’s top two economies, “along with an increasingly unpredictable policy formation process” in some nations, serves to reduce consumer confidence and business certainty, BHP Billiton Ltd. said Tuesday in its annual report. Protectionist policies and political uncertainty lower the achievable ceiling for global economic growth, it said. Melbourne-based BHP released the report before the Trump administration’s decision to impose a 10 ...

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Global Economy to Witness a Major Reset, Emirates’ Clark Says

U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade battles and the accumulation of global debt to pre-financial crisis levels are among factors that will drive a major reset of the world economy in the next two to three years, according to the head of the world’s biggest long-haul airline. “We have some extraordinary geopolitical forces at play,” Emirates Chief Executive Officer Tim Clark told attendees at an aviation event in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius. The industry could be facing a “mini” global financial crisis within two to three years and “there ...

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Trump says U.S. may make a trade deal with China at some point

President Donald Trump left the door open for China to negotiate an end to the trade war between Washington and Beijing, a day after imposing new tariffs on nearly $200 billion Chinese imports and threatening more if China retaliates. Speaking to reporters during a visit with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump said that the United States may make a deal at some point with China and that his country is always open to talking. “We’re having a tremendous impact on China. We’re doing a very good job with China,” he ...

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Five Asia Flashpoints to Watch as U.S.-China Trade War Heats Up

U.S. President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with a plan to implement tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, taking his administration’s trade war with Beijing to the next level. The worry among geopolitical strategists in Asia is that the spat may spark a wider conflict between the world’s biggest economies. Here are five places to watch: North Korea Nuclear talks are reaching a critical stage, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang this week for talks with Kim Jong Un. The North Korean leader wants a ...

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Lagarde Says World Needs to Spend More to Meet Development Goals

The world needs to step up spending to meet the ambitious goals to reduce poverty and protect the environment adopted by the United Nations, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “For the low-income countries in particular, meeting the additional spending needs will require a strong partnership between all stakeholders — countries themselves, but also official donors, philanthropy, and private finance,” Lagarde said Monday in a speech in London at Bloomberg’s European headquarters. While she’s optimistic that can be done, Lagarde said meeting the goals is increasingly becoming an “uphill” race ...

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