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July 15, 2019, 7:31 a.m. EDT

Trump takes victory lap for slowdown in Chinese economy

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By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a business meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017

President Donald Trump on Monday took credit for a slowdown in the Chinese economy that he says will lead to more favorable trading terms with the world’s second-largest economy.

China on Sunday night reported second-quarter GDP growth of 6.2%, the worst showing in at least 27 years.

Over two tweets, Trump said China wants to make a trade deal and insisted that U.S. taxpayers aren’t paying tariffs.

U.S. taxpayers do directly pay the tariffs on Chinese goods, though Trump said devaluation and what he called “pumping” offset those costs.

Over the last 12 months, the U.S. dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561991/realtime/sampled USDCNY +0.0014%  has appreciated a modest 3% compared with the yuan.

The U.S. has run a $747 billion deficit in the fiscal year to June, with customs duties — which include all tariffs, not just those imposed on China — accounting for $50 billion of the $2.61 trillion in revenue the U.S. has collected in various taxes.

It’s unclear the state of U.S.-China trade talks since Trump and China President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in Osaka, Japan.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs at a 25% rate on roughly $200 billion of Chinese goods and threatened to do the same to over $300 billion worth of Chinese products.

Overnight, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP +1.69%  rose as other Chinese economic data suggested more favorable conditions ahead, and it has climbed 18% this year. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.28% has climbed 20%.

US : Tullett Prebon
+0.0001 +0.0014%
Volume: 0.0000
April 2, 2020 8:21p
CN : China: Shanghai
+46.12 +1.69%
Volume: 21.79B
April 2, 2020 3:01p
+56.40 +2.28%
Volume: 3.87B
April 2, 2020 5:11p

Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's Washington bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @MKTWgoldstein.

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