Donald Trump says China is 'killing us with unfair trade deals'

Farmer Isabel Milligan weeds and transplants crops with a tractor in Amagansett New York

On Monday, China allowed the yuan to depreciate past the 7 yuan-per-dollar level for the first time in more than a decade, triggering worries of a global currency war.

China's unwrought copper imports bounced back in July after two months of declines, jumping almost 29% from June to the highest since January, while copper concentrate imports hit a record high, customs data showed on Thursday.

Chinese tariffs on USA soybeans have slashed exports of the most valuable US crop and prompted the Trump administration to compensate farmers for two years with as much as $28 billion.

In the first seven months, they contributed a total of 7.31 trillion yuan to China's exports and imports, up 11.8 percent, accounting for 42 percent of the total foreign trade value which is 2.9 percent higher than the same period previous year.

The U.S. -China trade war escalated sharply in recent days after Washington on Monday branded Beijing a currency manipulator for the first time since 1994, and said it would impose 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports, starting on September 1.

Chinese exports rose unexpectedly in July, beating expectations for a fall, as trade tensions with the U.S. continued to simmer.

"I think China is getting hurt significantly, much more than we are", Kudlow said. Although that was the weakest level for the yuan in 11 years, many Wall Street investors feared China would price the yuan below that psychological 7:1 barrier.

As China's exports, a key engine of economic expansion, have been slowing down due largely to tariffs imposed by the United States, Beijing might have chose to take steps to devalue the country's currency, pundits say.

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Those concerns have grown as the conflict heated from a simmer to a boil last week, even as both sides resumed negotiations. China stabilised the yuan on Tuesday and that helped lift USA stocks a day after they endured their worst day of the year .

But imports remained weak, declining 5.6 percent and highlighting still sluggish domestic demand.

The US Treasury uses three criteria to apply the designation: having large trade surpluses with the US, having a large current account surplus exceeding 3 per cent of GDP and actively intervening in the currency markets. US farmers, a key political constituency for Trump, have been among the hardest hit in the trade war.

Arrivals of unwrought copper, including anode, refined and semi-finished copper products into China, the world's top copper consumer, stood at 420,000 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said, up from 326,000 tonnes in June but still down 7.1% from July 2018. The United States recently warned Hanoi that some export goods labelled "Made in Vietnam" were of Chinese origin.

While American exporters have been hit hardest, Chinese industries, including electronics, that Beijing sees as its economic future have suffered double-digit declines in sales to the United States, their biggest market.

The prospect of snap elections in Italy brought down shares across Europe, while London's FTSE 100 index and the pound sank after Britain reported its economy shrank in the second quarter, the first contraction in seven years.

Hufbauer said that Trump believes the People's Bank of China (PBOC) engaged in currency manipulation because it failed to support the yuan despite ample cash reserves, apparently creating a new standard overnight.

"Shipments in and out of China held up better than expected last month, but a sustained turnaround still looks unlikely in the near term", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report. The United States and other Chinese trading partners complain Beijing's plans for government-led development of global competitors in robotics and other fields violates its market-opening commitments.

Pressured by weak demand at home and overseas, China's economic growth cooled to a near 30-year low of 6.2 per cent in the second quarter.

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