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China’s surplus with U.S. hits high

Bloomberg BEIJING (Bloomberg) — China’s trade surplus with the United States rose to a record in August, as U.S. President Donald Trump ramps up pressure on Beijing.

The nation’s trade gap with the United States widened to $31.1 billion during the month, according to Bloomberg calculations. The increase came despite exports climbing at the slowest pace since March. Shipments rose 9.8 percent in dollar terms, the customs administration said Saturday. Imports climbed 20 percent.

“Exports to the U.S. grew at a faster pace than the previous month as exporters front-loaded orders before the additional tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods take effect,” said Gai Xinzhe, an analyst at the Bank of China’s Institute of International Finance in Beijing. Faster U.S. economic growth also pushed up demand, Gai said.

Trade talks last month between mid-level U.S. and Chinese officials led nowhere. China’s commerce ministry said the two sides have maintained contact on a working level since then.

“We believe the U.S. government will continue to escalate the scale and scope of trade and investment measures against China,” Raymond Yeung, chief greater China economist for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in a recent note.

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