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China's trade surplus with US grows

China's trade surplus with US grows

China's trade surplus with US grows

China's exports last month rebounded more strongly than expected after a surprise drop in the previous month, suggesting that global demand remains relatively resilient and providing a cushion to the economy amid a heated trade dispute with the US.

Of note, the country's trade surplus with the USA expanded to $22.19 billion in April - compared with a surplus of $15.43 billion in March, customs data showed.

Its imports from the United States rose 20.3 percent, the fastest growth in three months.

US officials traveled to Beijing last week for talks on resolving the dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

"We believe this shows the USA wishes to reach a consensus with China on trade issues", ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing.

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

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However, the Trump administration has drawn a hard line, demanding a US$200 billion cut in the Chinese trade surplus with the US by 2020, sharply lower tariffs and advanced technology subsidies, according to people familiar with the top-level US-China talks on Friday last week.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted that he would talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Analysts had expected China to post a trade surplus of $24.7 billion for April after a rare deficit of $4.98 billion the previous month. President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the USA have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to US data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

China's top economic official will visit Washington next week to continue trade discussions, the White House said Monday, as threatened tariffs on billions of dollars of goods could be imposed this month.

For January-April, China's trade surplus with the United States was $80.4 billion. The high-level meetings are "constructive moves in the right direction" to resolve the tensions, she said.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said despite a seasonal uptick in export growth, the data suggest that foreign demand for Chinese goods has started to soften, with the prospect of possible USA tariffs weighing on the outlook.

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