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Why China’s trade surplus with the US hit a record high despite Trump’s tariffs

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DESPITE a hardline tariff offensive from US President Donald Trump, China’s trade surplus with the United States hit a record high last year, making it the highest in over a decade.

According to government trade data, China’s surplus hit US$323.3 billion in 2018. That’s a 17 percent increase from the previous year and the highest on record, according to Reuters.

Although the numbers are staggering, these figures likely don’t paint the full picture. China’s figures routinely show a smaller imbalance than US ones as China calculates the numbers using different methods, sometimes excluding goods that end up in the US via other countries.

SEE ALSO: US-China trade war alarms wealthy Singapore

Countering this trade imbalance was central to Trump’s reason for imposing his tariff hikes on Chinese goods. But as the data shows, this hasn’t had the immediate impact the US had hoped for, and here’s why…

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with........

© Asian Correspondent