Mnuchin says Trump respects the independence of the Fed

Mnuchin says Trump respects the independence of the Fed

But it was still too early to see the impact of the tariffs, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy.

As for the source of these imports, there have been a couple of interesting developments lately: earlier this month it emerged China had cut US oil imports to zero in August amid the deepening trade row, but at the same time it has turned its attention further north, to Canadian crude. China has introduced its own retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in a tit-for-tat move.

Export restrictions on technologically advanced products also could lead to disruptions for some USA tech companies with extensive involvement in China.

Last month, Fitch Ratings cut its GDP growth forecast for China by 0.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent next year and cut its global forecast by 0.1 per cent in 2019, saying that the ratings agency does not "expect further policy easing to fully offset the drag from new USA tariffs" on the Chinese economy.

Growth in imports for September instead showed a moderate slowdown to 14.3 percent from 19.9 percent in August, slightly missing analysts' forecast of a 15.0 percent growth.

US nuclear exports to China amounted to $170 million in 2017, the officials said.

China will remain on a monitoring list for currency manipulation because of its significant trade surplus with the USA, the people said.

"We are seeing more and more - China included - countries that actually let their currency fluctuate, and that certainly has been the case over the last three years as far as China is concerned", Lagarde said.

The IMF said that GDP could decline as much as peak 1.6 per cent in China and close to 1 per cent in the United States if the two countries further escalate the trade war and put all proposed and retaliatory tariffs in place. China's central bank cut its daily reference rate for a ninth day to 6.9120.

Separately, Mnuchin told CNBC in a televised interview on Friday that Trump would go through with plans to meet Xi "if it looks like we can make positive direction", adding that there was no set deadline for trade talks with China.

For January-September, China's trade surplus with the United States was $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period a year ago.

"As it relates to today, there was nothing that specifically occurred today", Mnuchin said. The amount was 10,000 bpd higher than the August import rate and was also the third monthly increase in a row as teapot refiners prepare for winter.

With China and the United States opening the door to a meeting next month between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, hopes are rising for a potential easing of tensions in the trade war between the world's two largest economies. It also slashed China's growth forecast for next year to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent.

"Their economy has gone down very substantially", he said.

"He won't be happy with these figures but it proves that tariffs don't help curb exports", Huo said.

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