China-US surplus hits record, adding fuel to trade war

China’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record $34.1 billion in September amid trade war

China's trade surplus with the United States surged to a record high of $34.13 billion in September, compared with $31.05 billion in August, Chinese customs data showed on Friday.

Overall, China's trade surplus with the United States stood at $226 billion for the first nine months of the year, up from $196 billion in the same period of 2017.

An imbalance of trade is at the center of an increasing bitter dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

President Trump added he could do a lot more if he wanted to, but said he would prefer Beijing come to the negotiating table.

Chinese exports to the United States have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive tariffs of up to 25 percent in a fight over American complaints about Beijing's technology policy. China then hit back with tariffs on about $60 billion of USA imports.

Despite concerns from some officials about the yuan's depreciation, U.S. Treasury staff have not recommended labeling China as a currency manipulator in a coming report on foreign exchange rate practices, according to media reports on Thursday.

The reports were followed by remarks from senior Washington officials that China was the greatest threat to US democracy and security.

In the Department of Energy release, Secretary Rick Perry said, "The United States can not ignore the national security implications of China's efforts to obtain nuclear technology outside of established processes of U.S".


The officials said United States nuclear exports to China amounted to $170 million in 2017.

The world's two biggest economies last slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on each other's goods on September 24.

Exports jumped 14.5 percent for September on-year, beating forecasts from analysts polled by Bloomberg News, while imports rose 14.3 percent on-year.

Washington announced the nuclear technology controls a day after the U.S. Justice Department said it had arrested and indicted a spy for China's Ministry of State Security on charges of economic espionage.

Exports rose 14.5 percent over a year earlier to $226.7 billion, up from August's 12.2 percent growth.

Analysts had expected imports to rise 15.0 percent, compared with August's 19.9 percent. An official survey also confirmed a further manufacturing weakening.

The IMF has cited the trade war as one of the reasons it lowered its 2019 growth forecast for China, which is set to see its slowest expansion since 1990.

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