China has reported better than expected trade growth in March, up by almost 16.4 percent from a year earlier.
The signs that global demand for the country’s goods is improving, along with US President Donald Trump softening of his anti-Beijing rhetoric, means a much brighter export outlook for China this year.
Import growth also remained strong, up 20.3 percent, also better than expected. However analysts say growth in imports could slow.
This all comes against the background of Trump’s previous strong criticism of the US trade imbalance with China.
Commerce Ministry spokesman Sun Jiwen explained Beijing’s view: “The trade imbalance is due to three factors: differences in economic structure, industrial competitiveness, and the division of labour of the two countries’ international industries. China has never pursued a trade surplus with the United States. As for Sino-US trade, the trade surplus is recorded on China’s account, but the trade brings equal benefits to the two sides, and is therefore mutually beneficial.”
The Chinese official also urged the US side to readjust its export policy towards China.
“China is willing to import more from the United States on the basis of the actual demand in its domestic market. At the same time, we hope the US side can readjust its export policies on China that hinder US exports to China, including its export controls. Both sides should create conditions for re-balancing the trade deficit and make joint efforts to address the trade imbalance,” said Sun.
Since meeting China’s President Xi Jinping on April 6 and 7, Trump has completely reversed several major campaign promises, including saying he now will not label Beijing a currency manipulator on the basis that it stopped doing that months ago, but also because he needs China’s cooperation on North Korea.