China trade surplus with US dropped 8.5% to $296bn in 2019

The world’s two biggest economies exchanged punitive tariffs in a bruising trade war. (AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2020

China trade surplus with US dropped 8.5% to $296bn in 2019

  • World’s two biggest economies exchanged punitive tariffs in a bruising trade war

BEIJING: China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed last year as the world’s two biggest economies exchanged punitive tariffs in a bruising trade war, official data showed Tuesday.

The figures were released just a day before the US and China are expected to sign a “phase one” agreement that marks a de-escalation in their two-year conflict.

The perennial US trade deficit with China has been a major source of anger for President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, triggering tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.

China’s surplus came in at around $295.8 billion in 2019, down 8.5 percent from the previous year’s record $323.3 billion, according to customs data.

In December, its surplus with the US was around $23.2 billion, down from $24.6 billion the month before.

As part of the interim trade deal, Beijing will buy an extra $200 billion of US products over a two-year period, according to Washington officials. China has yet to publicly confirm the figures.


Kuwait backs OPEC+ meeting, resumes Neutral Zone shipments with Saudi

Updated 03 April 2020

Kuwait backs OPEC+ meeting, resumes Neutral Zone shipments with Saudi

  • The shipment, of about one million barrels will be loaded on a tanker on Saturday and Sunday, for export to Asia

DUBAI: Kuwait supports Saudi Arabia’s invitation for a meeting between meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, an informal grouping known as OPEC+, to curb global oil supply and halt the oil price rout, oil minister Khaled Al-Fadhel said on Friday.

The minister, cited by the state-news agency KUNA, also announced the resumption of crude shipments from the so-called Neutral Zone the country shares with Saudi Arabia for the first time in five years.

The shipment, of about one million barrels will be loaded on a tanker on Saturday and Sunday, for export to Asia, he said.