The widening surplus reflects the difficulty of closing the trade gap between the two countries in the near term, but it is unlikely to obstruct the constructive progress made recently in negotiations between Washington and Beijing, ANZ Banks senior China economist, Betty Wang, said in a research note. The high-level meetings are constructive moves in the right direction to resolve the tensions, she said.
It is a positive signal, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.
General Administration of Customs of China (in Chinese):
We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody, she told reporters.
HONG KONG Chinas exports rebounded in April and its politically sensitive monthly trade surplus with the United States grew for the first time in five months as Beijing and Washington haggled over the chronic imbalance.
Chinas total exports jumped 21.5 percent in April from the same month the year before, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month thanks to resurgent global demand.
A cargo ship dock at a container port in Qingdao in eastern Chinas Shandong province on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Official figures show that Chinas exports expanded by 21.5 percent in April, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month, in a sign of resurgent global demand. (Chinatopix Via AP) (Associated Press)
U.S. officials visited Beijing last week for talks on cooling rising tensions between the worlds two largest economies over trade and technology issues. Those meetings appeared to make scant progress, but further discussions are scheduled to resume next week.
Imports expanded 12.9 percent year-on-year in dollar terms, leaving the countrys global trade surplus for the month at $28.8 billion, a turnaround from a $5 billion deficit the month before.
Chinas Foreign Ministry said that a planned visit by President Xi Jinpings top economic adviser, Liu He, to Washington next week shows the U.S. hopes to reach a consensus with Beijing on trade and economic issues.
Among the list of hard-line demands that Trumps delegation handed China last week was an ultimatum to cut $200 billion from its annual trade surplus with the U.S. by 2020. Last years merchandise trade surplus totaled $375 billion, according to U.S. data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.
AP researcher Liu Zheng in Beijing contributed to this report.
Chinas exports rebound, trade surplus with US swells
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the plan for continued talks on Monday.
In April, the trade surplus with the U.S. swelled to $22.2 billion, up from $15.4 in March and the first increase since November, as exports to the U.S. grew at a double digit pace.
The data released by China on Tuesday showed its trade surplus with the U.S. totaled $80.4 billion in January-April, up from $50 billion in the same period last year. President Donald Trumps demands that China slash its surplus with the U.S. have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy.
Trump has threatened to hike tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports. Chinas communist leaders have countered by outlining $50 billion in U.S. goods that they would target with retaliatory duties on goods including aircraft and soybeans.
After last weeks meeting, Chinas Commerce Ministry said the two sides had agreed to establish a mechanism to try to resolve their dispute, though differences remained.