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Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have been intensifying over recent months with each country imposing levies on mutual imports with extra duties.

Shipping containers are seen stacked at the Dachan Bay Terminals in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China July 12, 2018.

China's surplus with the USA shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion.

Trump's mission to reduce the USA trade deficit via the threat of tariffs has brought him into conflict with China as well as U.S. allies, roiling financial markets and raising fears of a global trade war the International Monetary Fund has warned may undermine the strongest economic upswing in years. West Texas Intermediate and international-benchmark Brent crude oil futures are under pressure early Wednesday after China said it will retaliate against the latest round of USA tariffs on Chinese imports. For instance, the major complaint is about the theft of United States intellectual property by Chinese firms.

Beijing is expected to hit $16 billion worth of United States goods with equal tariffs in response to Tuesday's move.

China's surplus with the United States shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

The United States will begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on August 23, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Tuesday as it published a final tariff list targeting 279 imported product lines.

After a strong start to the year, growth in the world's second-largest economy cooled slightly in the second quarter, partly hit by the government's years-long efforts to tackle debt risks.

The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more "active" fiscal policy.

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The world's top two economies have repeatedly sparred over trade in recent months, in what experts warn may become a devastating cycle of retaliation.

In July the surplus with the United States was at $28.09 billion, down a touch from $28.93 billion in June, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Wednesday.

China's exports surged more than expected in July despite fresh USA duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as Washington finalised its new tariff list in a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.

For January-July, the surplus with the USA rose to $161.63 billion, compared with about $142.75 billion in the same period a year ago.

China, however, would run out of USA imports to levy, as it bought only $130 billion worth of American goods past year.

The dispute has continued to escalate, as Trump last week threatened to jack up the tariff rate on the next $200 billion in Chinese imports his administration plans to target to 25 percent, from the planned 10 percent.

Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced a 25 percent charge on $16 billion worth of USA goods including coal, grease, Vaseline, asphalt and plastic products, and recyclables.


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