The United States remains the largest single market for China’s exports in the first eight months of 2019, the latest data shows.
China’s General Administration of Customs on Sunday released data showing its total imports and exports with the United States valued at $47.7 billion in August, bringing the combined value in the first eight months to $355.6 billion, a decrease of 13.9% from a year earlier.
China exported $275.5 billion to the United States in the January-August period, down 8.9% year on year, but that figure still makes the United States the single largest market for China.
The second largest single place for Chinese goods was Hong Kong with an export value of $175.6 billion and the third was Japan with $93.3 billion.
Meanwhile, China’s imports from the United States in the same period were $80.1 billion, representing a fall of 27.5% from a year earlier.
As a result, China still ran a trade surplus of $195.5 billion over the United States in the first eight months of this year, including $27 billion from August.
Data shows China’s global exports increased 0.4% on year at $1,607 billion in January-August, while imports were down 4.6% to $1,347.8 billion, making a surplus of $259.3 billion.
That means the U.S. market accounted for 75.4% of China’s total trade surplus so far this year.
With a large trade gap lingering for years, the Trump administration has accused China of ripping off the United States via unfair trade practices, theft of intellectual property, forced transfer of technology, cyberhacking, and industrial espionage. It has raised tariffs on Chinese products from July 2018 as a punitive measure, and China has retaliated.
In the latest action, the United States imposed a 15% tariff on $112 billion of Chinese imports from Sept. 1 and plans to put tax on another $160 billion from Dec. 15. That would extend penalties to almost all imports from China.
Beijing responded by imposing duties of 10% and 5% on a range of American imports and also plans more increases from Dec. 15 in line with the U.S. penalties.
U.S. tariffs of 25% imposed previously on $250 billion of Chinese goods are due to rise to 30% on Oct. 1.
China has imposed or announced penalties on an estimated $120 billion of U.S. imports. Some have been hit with increases more than once, while about $50 billion of U.S. goods is unaffected, possibly to avoid disrupting Chinese industries.
U.S. and Chinese officials are scheduled to resume talks in October after the negotiations broke off in May over how to enforce an agreement.