China's July exports rise more than expected despite USA tariffs

A Chinese worker looks on as a cargo ship is loaded at a port in Qingdao Shandong Province

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant US technological supremacy. Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the United States rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago.

China's headline numbers are the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world's second-largest economy since U.S. duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

China will impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of us products, officials announced Wednesday, marking the latest parry in an escalating trade war between the two countries.

The additional list of 279 product lines to be hit later this month was announced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Tuesday.

July figures showed the US' trade deficit with China decrease only slightly. China's exports to the United States fell by 2.5 percent to $41.5 billion month-on-month, while imports of U.S. goods plunged 1.5 percent to $13.4 billion, according to data from General Administration of Customs on Wednesday, as quoted by the media.

The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy.

United States president Donald Trump has threatened to target all $500bn of Chinese imports.

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Economists say China appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to the yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July and has provided some reprieve for exporters in the face of the rising trade tensions.

In July the surplus with the United States was at $28.09 billion, down a touch from $28.93 billion in June, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Wednesday.

It has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in USA goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The trade balance between the two countries, which is at the center of the tariffs tussle, continued to be in favor of China.

It will be the second time the U.S. slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, despite complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs and eventually consumer prices.

The US plans to move forward with further tariffs on Chinese goods starting 23 August, its top trade negotiator has said.

Trump, who has boasted that trade wars are "easy to win", has threatened to ramp up the pressure and slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States if Beijing does not back down and take steps to reduce the $335 billion U.S. trade deficit with that country.

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