China ‘big­gest vic­tim’ of anti-glob­al­iza­tion trend

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION - By Chu Daye

China’s trade in goods in 2016 edged down 0.9 per­cent from 2015, af­ter en­joy­ing a tra­jec­tory of re­cov­ery over the fi­nal two quar­ters, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms (GAC) said Fri­day.

The to­tal trade vol­ume in goods, de­nom­i­nated in yuan, stood at 24.33 tril­lion yuan ($3.53 tril­lion) in 2016, with ex­ports de­clin­ing 2 per­cent year-on-year to 13.84 tril­lion yuan and im­ports in­creas­ing 0.6 per­cent over the last year to 10.49 tril­lion yuan.

China’s 2016 trade sur­plus mean­while stood at 3.35 tril­lion yuan, down 9.1 per­cent yearon-year.

In an over­all tur­bu­lent year, the na­tion’s trade vol­ume showed a tra­jec­tory of re­cov­ery and sta­bi­liza­tion.

“Look­ing into 2017, un­cer­tain­ties will re­main given the luke­warm fore­casts for world eco­nomic growth from in­sti­tu­tions such as the IMF, the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment and the WTO. It is dif­fi­cult for China to re­main un­af­fected,” cus­toms spokesman Huang Song­ping told a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day.

Liu Xuezhi, a se­nior an­a­lyst at the Bank of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said that based on the sta­bi­liz­ing trend shown by China’s ex­ports, as well as signs of re­cov­ery seen in other ex­port­ing na­tions in Asia, we can ex­pect ex­ports to see a re­turn to growth in 2017.

The coun­try’s cur­rent in­dus­trial struc­ture, in the mid­dle of a trans­for­ma­tion, also pre­sents chal­lenges to trade, along with other fac­tors such as ris­ing costs, noted Huang.

“The ris­ing trends of anti-glob­al­iza­tion and trade pro­tec­tion­ism, with record high lev­els of trade re­stric­tions from the world’s ma­jor trad­ing na­tions, have left China as the big­gest vic­tim,” Huang said.

In 2016, a to­tal of 119 trade rem­edy in­ves­ti­ga­tions to­tal­ing $14.34 bil­lion were launched against China by 27 coun­tries and re­gions, Huang said, cit­ing data from the Min­istry of Com­merce. This saw the value of trade probes jump 76 per­cent year-on-year.

Liu said Trump’s trade pol­icy on China is a ma­jor source of un­cer­tainty.

“Most of the US’ trade deficit comes from trade with China, and the mar­ket is watch­ing closely how the new US pres­i­dent is go­ing to act, but no­body knows what ex­actly he is go­ing to do un­til he does it,” Liu noted.

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