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·         Why the phase one US-China trade deal should not be scoffed at – it’s about more than pork and soybeans

·         China’s dollar-denominated exports and imports beat expectations in December





Why the phase one US-China trade deal should not be scoffed at – it’s about more than pork and soybeans


o   The deal will allow China to focus on its domestic economic agenda amid a growth slowdown, including opening doors to foreign firms to serve its growing middle class

o   Since the deal was announced, Federal Reserve policymakers have also issued more optimistic statements about US economic prospects


Neal Kimberley, South China Morning Post (China) 

14 Jan, 2020


Any temptation to write off the importance of the signing of the phase one US-China trade deal should be resisted. This deal will deliver and it’s not just about pork and soybean purchases. While the deal is no panacea – and differences between the two countries will remain – it ticks a lot of boxes and will boost consumer and investor confidence.


It will allow Beijing to refocus on its own domestic economic agenda, while, in Washington, it addresses an issue that has been a source of considerable concern to the Federal Reserve.


It’s no coincidence that, with an initial settlement in the offing, some Fed policymakers have become more positive on US economic prospects this year.


“The US economy begins the year 2020 in a good place,” Fed vice-chair Richard Clarida said on January 9, adding: “In 2019, sluggish growth abroad and global developments weighed on investment, exports, and manufacturing in the United States, although there are some indications that headwinds to global growth may be beginning to abate.”


And Dallas Federal Reserve president Robert Kaplan told Reuters last week: “If anything, my growth outlook has firmed a bit in the last several weeks.”


Improved trade relations surely help explain the timing of Beijing’s recent decision to allow American Express to expand its operations in China. Meanwhile, US bank JPMorgan is increasing its headcount and taking extra office space in the Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest skyscraper.


As China’s middle class expands and its purchasing power increases...


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China’s dollar-denominated exports and imports beat expectations in December


o   China’s General Administration of Customs releases December 2019 trade data.


Huileng Tan, CNBC

Jan 13 2020


China’s dollar-denominated exports and imports were both higher in December, Reuters reported citing data from the General Administration of Customs.


In December, dollar-denominated exports rose 7.6% on-year, against a 1.3% drop in November.


December imports were 16.3% higher than year ago, Reuters reported citing data from the Chinese customs.


Economists polled by Reuters had expected dollar-denominated exports to rise 3.2% on-year and imports to rise 9.6% in the same period.


December trade surplus was $46.79 billion, against an expected $48 billion.


The better-than-expected trade data was “more a reflection of base and price effects than of current strength,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard and Martin Rasmussen, China economists at Capital Economics, referring to higher import prices.


In December China’s trade surplus with the U.S. was $23.18 billion — down from $24.6 billion in November.           


China’s imports form the U.S. rebounded in November and December, Reuters reported citing China customs vice minister Zou Zhiwu. In particular, China’s soybean and pork imports from the U.S. significantly rebounded in December.


Zou added that positive U.S-China sentiment on trade boosted the confidence of companies in December.


The data comes as U.S. and China remain in a long-drawn trade war, but there may soon be light at the end of the tunnel.


U.S. and China trade representatives are expected to end intense bilateral negotiations with a “phase one” deal on Wednesday. The deal potentially promises...


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