China exports beat expectations despite USA trade spat

China Trade Talks Continue Next Week in DC

The country's surplus with the US expanded to $22.19B - compared with a surplus of $15.43B in March.

The news came during Monday's White House press briefing when a reporter asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders whether President Donald Trump had any reaction to last week's trade talks in Beijing between a delegation of top US trade officials and Chinese government officials.

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

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.

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Exports of mechanical and electrical products rose 8.7 percent year-on-year to 2.84 trillion yuan, accounting for 59.1 percent of the total value of exports. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led the trip that involved two days of trade talks on Thursday and Friday.

China denies that its policies coerce foreign firms to transfer technology to Chinese competitors.

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman did not confirm Liu's visit, but said China viewed the White House statement positively, and that handling trade issues through consultations served the interests of both countries, as well as of the world.

China's imports from the U.S. climbed 11.6 percent between January and April, which however wasn't enough to offset a 13.9-percent rise in exports to that country.

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"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.

"The president has a great relationship with President Xi", Sanders said.

"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday without giving further details on the negotiations. The high-level meetings are "constructive moves in the right direction" to resolve the tensions, she said. China's communist leaders have countered by outlining $50 billion in US goods that they would target with retaliatory duties on goods including aircraft and soybeans.

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