Wait and see on China trade

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China routinely runs multibillion-dollar monthly surpluses with Europe and the US, which helps to offset deficits with Japan, South Korea and developing countries that supply industrial components and raw materials.

Even as China's trade surplus narrowed overall in the first three months of the year, its surplus with the USA surged 19.4 percent to $58.25 billion from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday.

General Motors and its joint ventures reported a 2% year on year sales rise to 352,346 units in March, while Nissan's sales increased by 2.4% to 122,959 units and Toyota's were up by 5.4% at 118,500 units. If Trump cuts off the firehose of revenue from cheap goods, products that are dumped on the USA market, the ChiComs are done.

Trump's move last week to threaten China with tariffs on $50 billion (£35.2 billion) in Chinese goods was aimed at forcing Beijing to address what Washington says is deeply entrenched theft of US intellectual property and forced technology transfers from USA companies.

Trump has imposed an additional import tariff on some 1,300 Chinese products worth Dollars 50 billion and directed to look into another round of additional tariffs worth USD 150 billion.

While Washington does not challenge Communist China's claim over Taiwan, the official U.S. policy simply states that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait recognize there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.

Faced with possible USA tariff hikes, one of China's biggest ball bearing makers, Cixin Group, is considering plans to rush shipments to American customers before the increase makes its sales unprofitable. According to a study conducted by Purdue University, soybean exports to China could drop dramatically if China chooses to impose a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans.

More broadly, should the retaliatory trade moves escalate, and the USA slap tariffs on more mainstream goods like household appliances, consumer electronics or toys, the repercussions would be substantially higher. They have bought and paid for our politicians for the last 30 years.

- The non-manufacturing sector accelerated the pace of growth in March with its PMI standing at 54.6, up from 54.4 in February.

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China registered a rare deficit of $4.98 billion with the rest of the world last month owing to seasonal factors such as the Lunar New Year holiday.

Imports of commodities continued to lead the way in March, with shipments of copper, crude oil, iron ore and soybeans all rising from the previous month.

Analysts are still expecting China's economic growth to slow later in the year, however, as a cooling property market weighs on demand for building materials from cement to steel.

Calculated with exchange rates of respective years, China's GDP accounted for 14.8 percent of the world economy in 2016, up from 12.5 percent in 2013.

"We don't strive for a favourable balance of trade (for China), the current state of trade affairs are shaped by the market", he told a briefing in Beijing.

On Tuesday, the Chinese premier promised at a news conference Beijing will "open even wider" to imports and investment as part of efforts to make its state-dominated economy more productive.

A week after escalating trade tensions with his threat to impose tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese products, Trump said Thursday the two countries ultimately may end up levying no new tariffs on each other.

Hi-tech products have been among its fastest growing export segments.

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