China’s surplus with US drops to $296bn
Beijing, China – China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed last year as the world’s two biggest economies exchanged punitive tariffs in a bruising trade war, official data showed on Tuesday.
The figures were released just a day before the US and China are expected to sign a ‘phase one’ agreement that marks a de-escalation in their two-year conflict.
The perennial US trade deficit with China has been a major source of anger for President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, triggering tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.
China’s surplus came in at around US$295.8bn in 2019, down 8.5 per cent from the previous year’s record US$323.3bn, according to customs data. In December, its surplus with the US was around US$23.2bn, down from US$24.6bn the month before. As part of the interim trade deal, Beijing will buy an extra US$200bn of US products over a two-year period, according to Washington officials. China has yet to publicly confirm the figures.
An employee works on a pumper truck production line at a factory in Zhangjiakou in northern Hebei province on January 13