China-U.S. Trade Gap Widened in April

Chinese exports rebounded in April as companies are trying to make shipments ahead of the expected tariffs brought on by trade tensions with U.S., according to Wall Street Journal.

The trade imbalance between the two countries widened in April, with China’s surplus hitting $22.19 billion, up 44% from March, according to customs data. Exports to the U.S. rose 10% in April, though imports from the U.S. surged 20%.

Exports of high-tech products last month were stronger than expected, reflecting tech firms’ efforts to avoid near-term disruptions to the supply chain, said Betty Wang, an economist at ANZ. Outbound shipments of electrical products and automatic data-processing equipment and parts surged 15% and 22% in April respectively, compared with increases of 2.4% and 15% in March.

Trade negotiations between the U.S and China haven’t had any meaningful progress so far. The U.S. has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion in imports from China, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate in kind. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s top economic advisor, Liu He, is set to visit the U.S. next week to resume talks.

A two-day meeting of economic officials last week in Beijing ended inconclusively after both sides exchanged sizable demands, including a U.S. request for a $200 billion cut in the bilateral trade surplus by the end of 2020.

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