US Tightens Controls on China Imports of Nuclear Components

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While China is one of six countries on the "watch list", the last report in April acknowledged that the RMB "generally moved against the dollar in a direction that should" help reduce China's trade surplus with the United States and had strengthened early in the year.

The US government has placed tariffs of up to 25 per cent on about US$250 billion of Chinese-made goods in the past few months and US President Donald Trump has threatened to add new levies on almost all products made in China, or more than US$500 billion.

Over the first nine months of the year, China's surplus with its largest export market totalled $225.79 billion, compared with about $196.01 billion in the same period last year.

China's record high surplus with the U.S. could add to tensions in the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.

The world's two biggest economies last slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's goods on September 24.

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After imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods over the summer, the Trump administration last month added a 10 percent tariffs to another $200 billion worth of Chinese products, encompassing everything from household items like furniture and toys to industrial equipment.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he told China's central bank chief that currency issues need to be part of any further U.S.

The Chinese currency has depreciated by 5.6 percent against the dollar since the start of the year. The Trump administration has also accused China of trying to undermine the president ahead of next month's congressional elections, something Beijing has denied.

The measures are the latest salvo in a widening USA drive to pressure China, with the Trump administration recently slapping $250 billion in tariffs.

A U.S. Treasury official this week voiced concerns about China's recent currency depreciation.

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But it was still too early to see the impact of the tariffs, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, a consultancy.

The politically-sensitive surplus was $34.13 billion in September, surpassing the record of $31.05 billion in August. Imports of American goods increased 9 percent to $12.6 billion, down from August's 11.1 percent growth.

The U.S. Treasury chief and People's Bank of China Governor Yi Gang extensively discussed currency issues on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

China's overall export growth accelerated, temporarily defying forecasts of a slowdown as the global economy and consumer demand cool.

"Although Chinese manufacturing output continued to rise in September, the latest expansion was only marginal and the weakest recorded for almost a year", the survey said.

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China will cut import tariffs on a wide range of goods beginning on November 1, as part of Beijing's pledge to take steps to increase imports this year amid rising tension.

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