China's trade surplus with U.S. up 13 percent

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 2:17 PM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- China's trade surplus with the United States increased 13 percent in 2017 despite warnings from U.S. President Donald Trump about exerting regulatory pressure against the world's second-largest economy.

The surplus rose 1.87 trillion yuan, or about $276 billion, for China, vis-à-vis its largest trading partner, according to Beijing's ministry of commerce on Friday.

The gain is a sign China's manufacturing sector, and exports, are benefiting from the global economic recovery.

Other data from the Chinese government indicate substantial improvement in growth from 2016.

Total Chinese exports were up 10.9 percent year-on-year in December 2017 and 12.3 percent in November.

Overall exports in 2017 grew 7.9 percent, and total trade surplus grew to $422.5 billion, according to CNBC.

Of that amount dollar-based trade stood at $288 billion, according to Yonhap.

But total trade surplus in 2017 registered a decline of 14.2 percent, from about $490 billion in 2016.

Huang Songping, a commerce ministry spokesman, said the numbers reflect the "mild recovery of the world economy last year."

"China's economy has been rising in moderation, and imports and exports have continued to increase, achieving double-digit recovery growth rates," Huang said.

Bilateral trade with North Korea took a dramatic turn in 2017, with North Korean imports down 81.6 percent, totaling $54.34 million, according to Chinese data.

Chinese exports to North Korea was also down 23.4 percent to $260 million, Yonhap reported.

China has not introduced drastic reform to turn around its state-owned enterprises, which, analysts said this week, are a drag on growth.

Xinhua reported Friday senior officials of the Communist Party are to meet again to finalize a revised draft for incremental changes to the constitution, but it was unclear whether economic policy is part of the changes.

The second plenary session of the 19th Party Congress is to be held Jan. 18-19.

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