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China's trade with US shrinks again in September

China's trade with US falls

China's trade with the United States fell by double digits again in September amid a tariff war that threatens to tip the global economy into recession.

Exports to the United States, China's biggest foreign market, fell 17.8% to $36.5 billion, a deterioration from August's 16% decline, customs data showed Monday. Imports of American goods sank 20.6% from the year before to $10.6 billion, a slight improvement over August's 22% decline.

President Donald Trump agreed Friday to put off an additional tariff hike planned for this week on Chinese imports. In exchange, he said Beijing agreed to buy up to $50 billion of American farm goods. But they reported no agreements on disputes over China's trade surplus and technology policies that brought on the 15-month-old fight.

"The external environment facing China's foreign trade development is still complicated and severe. Instability and uncertainty are increasing," a customs agency spokesman, Li Kuiwen, said at a news conference.

Tit-for-tat tariff hikes on billions of dollars of each other's goods have battered manufacturers and farmers on both sides and disrupted supply chains worldwide. Uncertainty has prompted some companies to postpone investments, adding to downward pressure on global growth and fueling financial market jitters.

China's global exports fell 1.4% from a year earlier to $218.1 billion. Imports fell 5.8% to $178.5 billion.

The slump adds to pressure on President Xi Jinping's government to shore up cooling economic growth and prevent politically risky job losses.

Forecasters expect growth in the July-September quarter, due to be reported this week, to fall further to as low as 5.9%, sinking below the ruling Communist Party's official target for the year of at least 6%.



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