China's foreign trade still faces big downward pressure: Xinhua


China's foreign trade still faces big downward pressure despite some improvement in August, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday, citing Shen Danyang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce.

"Difficulties facing China's foreign trade are not short term, the downward pressure on foreign trade is still big and uncertain and unstable factors are increasing," Shen was quoted as saying.

"We cannot be blindly optimistic about China's imports and exports and the situation is still complex and grim."

But Shen said China's foreign trade is stabilizing and the ministry will work with other government agencies to help cut costs for exporters and importers, he said.

China's imports unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in nearly two years, boosted by coal and other commodities, while exports also showed signs of improvement, adding to signs of steadying in the world's second-largest economy. [nL3N1BI1VQ]

China has seen more trade frictions with its trade partners this year, Shen said.

In the first eight months of this year, 20 countries and regions have launched 85 investigations into China's exports with a total value of $10.3 billion, which showed a 94 percent jump from a year earlier, he said.

In addition, the United States has launched 15 investigations into Chinese products under section 337 of the main U.S. tariff law, he added.

Over the past year, Europe and the United States have accused China of exporting its excess aluminum and steel production, hurting the global industry and pressuring global prices.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)