Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Top Chinese economic adviser to visit USA next week for trade talks

Top Chinese economic adviser to visit USA next week for trade talks

HONG KONG-China's 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.

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

The US delegation's visit to China did not yield any result, The Wall Street Journal said.

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

Compared with March, the surplus was up 43.9 percent, though analysts say seasonal factors such as Chinese New Year had dampened exports for the month.

The row has fuelled worries about a trade war between the economic superpowers that has the potential to hammer the global economy.

China's top economic official will visit Washington next week to resume trade talks with the Trump administration, the White House said on Monday.

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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 United States tariffs weighing on the outlook.

Mr. Trump is seeking to cut the chronic USA trade deficit and gain concessions over policies that foreign companies say force them to share technology with Chinese partners in order to gain market access.

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

For January-April, it rose to US$80.4 billion, compared with about US$71 billion in the same period a year ago.

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 U.S. officials.

Data released Tuesday show exports jumped 21.5 percent from the same month the year before, bouncing back from a contraction the previous month thanks to resurgent global demand.

Export growth was led by a 20.7 percent increase in shipments of high-tech products, led by mobile phone exports.

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