Chinese trade data for the month of June will be released today, likely confirming initial forecasts that imports and exports dropped again after contracting every month this year except April.
The forecasts pinned the trade hit on a weaker domestic economy and softening overseas demand, fostering concerns that China’s trade woes are dragging down other Asian economies.
Indeed, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are also expected to show export reductions for June. Adding to that stress is Japan’s consideration to remove South Korea from a list of trusted nations that receive preferable export treatment.
While US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to formally resume trade talks last month, hurdles that suspended talks two months ago remain. These include US demands for China to buy more American agricultural and industrial products and to enforce intellectual property protection in exchange for removing tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods.
American and Chinese negotiators will revive the stalled talks this week, but if disagreements over prior commitments bog down the discussions once again—or if infighting in Asia presents further barriers to trade—then worries of further trade slowdowns will persist.
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