China's Exports Rebound More Than Forecast

President Donald Trump    Mark Wilson  Getty Images

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.

Trump has regularly said current trade practices are unfair and hurting American companies and jobs, and has threatened to impose import tariffs to the tune of $150 billion on Chinese goods. China responded with threats of USA exports to China in an equal amount and targeting industries that may cause the most impact.

High-level discussions between the two sides in Beijing last week appeared to make little substantive progress in defusing trade tensions apart from an agreement to hold more talks.

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.

President Xi seemed to respond to the escalation in early May by signaling a willingness to improve intellectual property protections and cut tariffs on US auto imports to China. "The backdrop of the ongoing trade negotiations between China and the U.S. is one in which global growth has already peaked and China's export performance is waning as a result". President Donald Trump's demands that China slash its surplus with the US have become a cornerstone of his combative economic policy. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totaled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

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That led to a widening trade gap in the first four months of 2018, climbing to $80.4 billion from about $71 billion in the same period previous year.

That left China with a trade surplus of US$28.78 billion for the month, compared with forecasts for a US$24.7 billion surplus in April and a rare deficit of US$4.98 billion in March.

China's Commerce Ministry said the two sides had agreed to establish a mechanism to try to resolve their dispute, though differences remained, Chinese state media reported.

Economists at ANZ said some Chinese exporters might be accelerating electronics shipments amid the tariff threats.

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