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China’s imports jump 8.4% in April, exceeding expectations

WorldChina's imports jump 8.4% in April, exceeding expectations

Containers sit at the Yangshan Port in Shanghai, China, Aug. 6, 2019.

Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING — China’s customs agency released data Thursday that showed exports rose in-line with expectations in April, while imports surged ahead of forecasts.

China’s exports rose by 1.5% year-on-year in April in U.S. dollar terms, while imports climbed by 8.4%, the data showed.

Exports were expected to have grown by 1.5% year-on-year, and imports up by 4.8% from a year ago, according to a Reuters poll.

In March, exports and imports both fell year-on-year.

Lackluster domestic demand has weighed on imports, while exports have come under some pressure due to slowing global demand and tensions with China’s largest trading partner, the U.S.

The Biden administration has called for tripling tariffs on Chinese steel. Former President Donald Trump has said he would raise tariffs by 60% on Chinese goods if reelected this fall.

The Covid-19 pandemic also prompted multinational corporations to diversify their supply chains away from just relying on China.

However, Nomura analysts pointed out in a report earlier this month that much of the diverted trade likely still has its origins in China, or Chinese-invested factories in other countries.

“Excluding China, the US trade deficit with the rest of the world has continued to increase and is near a record high,” the report said.

“If America truly wants to reduce its trade deficit through tariffs, it needs to increase tariffs on all US imports,” the report said. “Trump’s recent idea of a 10% ‘ring around the country’ should not be dismissed lightly.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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