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09 May 2018, 12:39 | Floyd Cook
China Trade Surplus with US Grew Sharply in April
China's trade surplus with the US swelled to $22.2 billion, up from $15.4 in March and the first increase since November, as exports to the USA grew at a double digit pace.
"China's top economic advisor, the vice premier, will be coming here next week to continue the discussions with the President's economic team", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
The two countries have been engaging in high-stakes negotiations to head off the threatened tariffs - Washington has targeted $150 billion in Chinese imports while Beijing put $50 billion of U.S. goods on the firing line.
Import growth had been expected to pick up to 16 percent, compared with 14.4 percent one month earlier.BEIJING: China's April exports rose 12.9 percent from a year earlier, rebounding from a drop in March, while imports grew 21.5 percent, both growing much faster than expected despite worries over an escalating trade dispute with the United States.
USA officials traveled to Beijing last week for talks on resolving the dispute between the world's two biggest economies.
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. The President has a great relationship with President Xi.
"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", she told reporters.
Overall, China's April trade balance was a positive $28.78 billion, topping predictions of $24.7 billion.
Liu led the Chinese delegation that spent two days negotiating in Beijing last week with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other senior United States officials. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro were all on the trip. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totalled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.
"The core of the USA position is that China become a genuine market economy on an expedited schedule and that the United States reserves the right to be judge and jury in determining compliance", Scott Kennedy, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in a commentary about the talks.
Trump doubled down, threatening $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S.
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