IT&Software

China's 2016 foreign trade down for second year

China's 2016 foreign trade down for second year

The data, posted on Friday, disclosed that China's 2016 exports were down 7.7 percent to $2.1 trillion and imports dropping 5.5 percent to $1.59 trillion.

With China - which has become a global economic steamroller for the better part of the last two decades - now trending downward and given Trump's consistent bashing of its economic and foreign policies, analysts are anxious a trade war is on the horizon.

China's trade surplus in 2016 was not able to counter the fall in FX reserves, a trend that might continue this year. Trump's trade policy would possibly prompt US businesses to shift their production facilities away from China, although China's attempts in promoting high-end manufacturing might counter part of the loss.

The outflows are partly responsible for China's dwindling foreign currency reserves, which were once running at around $4 trillion, and are now down to $3.011 trillion at the end of December 2016, according to a recent SAFE report.

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China's customs agency said it would be tough for foreign trade to improve this year, especially if the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump and other significant political changes limit the growth of Chinese exports due to greater protectionist measures. Loans to non-financial enterprises and organizations stood at 6.1 trillion yuan a year ago, down from 7.38 trillion yuan in 2015. Customs spokesperson Huang Songping said at a briefing in Beijing, "The trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident, and China is the biggest victim of this trend", he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

On Wednesday, Trump said trade relations with Beijing would be a top priority, pledging to reduce the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.

USA president-elect Trump, who will be sworn in on January 20th and spent a good part of his election campaign calling China a cheat, has promised to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in office and to impose high tariffs on Chinese goods.

Navarro has written books such as Death by China that accuse Beijing of waging economic war by subsidizing its manufacturing industry and blocking United States imports.


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