China Plants Hefty Tax on US Sorghum

The move will be followed by commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger cars in 2022

It was the third-straight quarter for 6.8 percent growth year-on-year and fueled in part by a widening trade gap with the U.S.

Data from the MOC showed US sorghum exports to China surged from 317,000 tonnes in 2013 to 4.76 million tonnes in 2017, while export prices have slumped 31 percent during the period, which led to a fall in domestic prices that hurt local industries. "The national economy maintained the momentum of steady and sound development", said Xing Zhihong, a spokesman for the National Statistics Bureau.

Sian Fenner, an economist at Oxford Economics, tells CNBC that Chinese officials will continue "tapping on the brakes" in their goal of a managed slowdown.

The move is likely to stoke fears of a trade war between the United States and China.

Even concerns of a trade war with the USA have failed to dent consumer sentiment, although they have spooked global markets in the past few weeks. "Years of unfair trade have hammered American families and plundered American wealth", Trump said Friday in his weekly address. "We underestimated the power of consumption in China", she says.

Since then, Trump has threatened to raise duties on up to $150 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. For the last decade, about 20 percent of China's exports have been ferried to the U.S., according to Moody's Investors Services, which forecasts a material macroeconomic impact if Trump makes good on his threats with the consequences vibrating beyond China's end exporters and deep into the economy.

Private investment accounts for about 60 percent of overall investment in China.

Strong consumer spending and massive investment in environmental protection helped China's economy grow by 6.8% in the first quarter.

Retail sales rose 10.1 percent in March from a year earlier, beating expectations of an increase of 9.9 percent, compared with a rise of 9.7 percent in the first two months.

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