Fresh trade figures from China have shown that heavily criticized trade imbalances between the world's two leading economies have grown. The White House will not be amused by Beijing's renewed export drive.
The trade deficit between the United States and China grew again in May, a report from Beijing's General Administration of Customs revealed Friday.
The Chinese surplus with the world's leading economy stood at $24.6 billion (€20.8 billion), about $2.4 billion larger than in April, and also higher compared with the same period a year earlier.
China's trade imbalance with the US has continued to grow since the beginning of the year, with the deficit reaching $105 billion between January and May, roughly $11.6 billion more than in the first five months of 2017.
Retaliatory measures looming
Washington announced last week it would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, with a list of products affected to be issued by June 15.
During last weekend's trade negotiations between the two nations, Chinese officials offered to buy more US agricultural and energy products, but warned that the deal would not go into effect if the US enacted more tariffs.
Irrespective of the outcome of the US-China trade spat, experts have said China's export drive is likely to stall.
"Even if a trade war is avoided, Chinese trade growth is still likely to edge down over the coming year as the global economy loses momentum and headwinds to domestic demand from slower credit growth intensify," said the Capital Economics senior economist, Julian Evans-Pritchard.
hg/jd (Reuters, dpa)