China's Customs Says Domestic Trade Recovering, Foreign Trade Facing Major Difficulties - Reports

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According to data from the General Administration of Customs, the country's exports fell 11.4 percent to 3.33 trillion yuan and imports dropped 0.7 percent to 3.24 trillion yuan in the first quarter of 2020.

Chinese customs spokesperson Li Kuiwen said during a news conference on Tuesday that China's trade showed some signs of recovery in March as domestic demand returns to normalcy, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

“With Covid-19 spreading worldwide, the global economy faces mounting downward pressure. Uncertainties are on the rise. China's foreign trade is encountering major difficulties”, Chinese customs spokesperson Li Kuiwen said.

According to the Xinhua news agency, citing the General Administration of Customs, in the first quarter, the foreign trade of goods decreased by 6.4 percent to 6.57 trillion yuan ($933 billion).

Li Kuiwen stated that imports of agricultural producers were increasing, adding that the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could not be ignored.

The spokesperson also added that as China gradually implements the Phase One Deal with the US, the country has seen some positive developments.

On 12 April, China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, said the first phase of the trade deal between the US and China was still being implemented despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and expressed hope that it still would be done in the end.

In January 2020, China and the United States signed an initial trade deal, purporting to open the Chinese market to a larger number of American companies and putting an end to the damaging trade war between the two nations. According to the agreement, China has committed to purchase an additional $200 billion worth of American farm and energy products, manufactured goods and services in the course of the next two years as well as to respect patent and intellectual property rights. It is also expected to alleviate some of the tariffs previously placed on American goods.

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