Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

China's trade surplus with U.S. widens as exports surge

UPDATE 1-China's April soybean imports fall 13.7 pct as border inspections toughen Trade talks: Top Chinese officials visiting US next week
Ebony Burgess | 09 May, 2018, 00:58

Imports expanded 12.9 percent year-on-year in dollar terms, leaving the country's global trade surplus for the month at $28.8 billion, a turnaround from a $5 billion deficit the month before.

The visit by vice-premier Liu He - considered President Xi Jinping's right-hand man on economic issues - comes after he led talks in Beijing last week with a high-level United States delegation that made little headway in resolving the standoff.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser, Liu He, will visit Washington next week to continue discussions with President Donald Trump's economic team, the White House said Monday.

Imports last month also grew more robustly than expected, suggesting China's domestic demand is holding up well, good news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from any trade shocks.

"The US and China asked one another to make sweeping concessions but failed to bridge divisions, raising the chances that each government will slap tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of the other country's exports", the daily reported. President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the USA have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy.

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China's trade surplus with the US totaled $80.4 billion in January-April, up from $50 billion in the same period past year.

Trump directed Trade Representative Lighthizer in early April to look at the potential of imposing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

For January to last month, it rose to US$80.4 billion, from about US$71 billion in the same period previous year.

Just hours after the steel and aluminum tariffs had been announced, Kudlow told reporters that the Trump administration was mulling over providing China with a list of what the US wants to see happen on trade with China.

However, China said "big differences" remained between the two sides after last week's talks while leaks of the negotiating positions showed both were digging in with hardline demands. China's communist leaders have countered by outlining $50 billion in US goods that they would target with retaliatory duties on goods including aircraft and soybeans.

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