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International trade deficit April 2018

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But a protectionist trade policy being pursued by President Donald Trump poses a threat to the otherwise rosy economic outlook. Trump in March announced tariffs for steel and aluminum imports to protect domestic industries from what he says is unfair competition from foreign producers.

Last week, Trump extended the duties to steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Mexico has retaliated with measures targeting a wide range of U.S. farm and industrial products. Canada has said it would slap tariffs on imports from the United States, including whiskey, orange juice, steel, aluminum and other products.

A trade war is also looming with China. Washington and Beijing have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each. Trump claims the United States is being taken advantage of by its trading partners, but economists warn that tariffs will hobble the economy, raising prices and destroying jobs for Americans.

Economists say that tariffs will do little to shrink the trade deficit, partly because of the dollar’s status as the global reserve currency and the low U.S. savings rate, including a fiscal deficit that has been blown up by a $1.5 trillion tax cut package.

The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China increased 8.1 percent to $28.0 billion in April. The deficit with Mexico narrowed 29.8 percent to $5.7 billion in April. The United States had a $0.8 billion goods trade deficit with Canada in April.

In April, exports of goods and services rose 0.3 percent to a record $211.2 billion. Exports were supported by a $1.3 billion increase in deliveries of industrial supplies and materials such as fuel oil and petroleum products.

Exports of industrial supplies and materials were the highest on record in April. Soybean exports increased $0.3 billion and corn shipments also rose by a similar amount. But exports of commercial aircraft tumbled $2.8 billion.

Exports to China dropped 17.1 percent in April.

Imports of goods and services slipped 0.2 percent to $257.4 billion in April. Imports of consumer goods dropped $2.8 billion, weighed by a $2.2 billion decline in imports of cellphones and other household goods. Motor vehicle imports fell $1.0 billion.

Crude oil imports rose $1.0 billion in April. Imports from China were unchanged in April.

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U.S. reports more than 83,000 coronavirus cases, record daily total, as experts warn of difficult winter

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Chinese fintech giant Lufax seeks up to $2.36 billion in U.S. IPO

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A logo of of Lufax website Lu.com, is seen at the company’s headquaters on May 28, 2020 in Shanghai, China.

Wu Jun | Visual China Group | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese lending and wealth management firm Lufax is seeking up to $2.36 billion from a U.S. initial public offering (IPO).

Earlier this month, the Shanghai-headquartered firm, which is backed by financial giant Ping An Group, said it planned to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “LU.”

It has now released details on pricing. Lufax said it will issue 175,000,000 American depositary shares (ADS) which will be priced between $11.50 and $13.50 per share.

At the top end of the range, Lufax’s offering would be valued at $2.36 billion.

Chinese technology companies have been looking to take advantage of a rebound in stock markets to go public, including on Wall Street, despite the geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. 

Electric carmakers Xpeng Motors and Li Auto both went public in the U.S. earlier this year

Lufax’s New York listing comes as rising tensions between the U.S. and China threaten American-listed Chinese firms. Lawmakers in Washington are pushing for greater scrutiny of Chinese companies through proposed legislation that threatens to delist some firms in the U.S. 

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Huawei’s growth slows sharply as U.S. sanctions bite

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GUANGZHOU, China — Huawei’s revenue growth slowed sharply in the third quarter while its margin dipped as U.S. sanctions disrupt its business.

Revenue for the September quarter came in at 217.3 billion yuan ($31.91 billion), up just 3.7% from the 209.5 billion yuan recorded in the same period last year.

For the first nine months of the year, revenue totaled 671.3 billion yuan ($98.57 billion), up 9.9% from the 610.8 billion yuan reported in the same period last year. That is a significant slowdown in growth. In the first nine months of 2019, Huawei’s revenue growth was 24.4%

Meanwhile, Huawei’s net profit margin was 8% for the first nine months of the year, down from 8.7% in the same period last year.

Washington’s sanctions are clearly hurting the Chinese technology giant. Last year, Huawei was put on a U.S. export blacklist known as the Entity List. Google cut ties with Huawei meaning the Chinese firm’s smartphones could no longer use licensed Android mobile operating system software. That has hurt Huawei’s smartphone sales outside of China, while its domestic market has thrived.

Huawei did not release a breakdown of what parts of its business contributed to revenue growth. Earlier this year, Huawei said that its consumer business, which includes its smartphones, was responsible for nearly all of the $12 billion shortfall in revenue it saw in 2019 versus its own targets.

For the first three quarters of 2020, Huawei said the results “basically met expectations.”

“As the world grapples with COVID-19, Huawei’s global supply chain was put under intense pressure and its production and operations saw increasing difficulties,” the company said in a press release.

“During the release, the company stated it would do its best to find solutions, to survive and forge forward, and to fulfill its obligations to customers and suppliers.”

Huawei is now facing even greater challenges. Earlier this year, Washington slapped further sanctions on Huawei which has threatened to cut off supplies of semiconductors from its main supplier TSMC. This could cripple its smartphone business, analysts previously told CNBC. Huawei has very few options to get around these sanctions.

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