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Japan Replaces China as Largest Holder of U.S. Government Debt

By Guo Yingzhe / Aug 16, 2019 03:07 PM / World

Japan replaced China as the largest holder of U.S. government debt in June amid an escalating Sino-U.S. trade war.

Although China’s store of Treasury bonds rebounded by $2.3 billion to $1.11 trillion — up from a two-year low in May — Japan’s holdings grew by $21.9 billion to $1.12 trillion, reaching their highest point since October 2016, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The figures represent the first time since May 2017 that China is not the largest holder of Treasury bonds. Previous data from the U.S. Census Bureau also showed that China is no longer the U.S.’s largest trade partner, falling to third place during the first six months of the year behind Mexico and Canada.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Aug. 1 to impose additional tariffs of 10% on a further $300 billion of Chinese goods starting Sept. 1, further fanning the flames of an already-fierce trade war. However, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office announced Tuesday that new tariffs on certain goods will be delayed until mid-December.

Read the full story on Caixin Global later today.

Contact reporter Guo Yingzhe (yingzheguo@caixin.com) 

Related: Charts of the Day: China No Longer No. 1 for U.S. as Trade Row Bites

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