The Chinese government announced on Tuesday morning the country’s biggest trade surplus in a year and a half, as an unexpected surge in Chinese exports and weakening of imports pointed to the prospect of renewed frictions with the United States and other countries over China’s international economic policies.
China’s surplus climbed to $28.7 billion in July, the highest since January of last year, and much more than the consensus expectation of economists for a surplus of roughly $19 billion. Exports leaped 38.1 percent from an already strong showing in the same month last year, while imports rose a more modest 22.7 percent.
China’s central bank announced on June 19 that it would begin to allow the country’s currency, the renminbi, to fluctuate more against other currencies, a decision that the Obama administration and others expected to lead to the renminbi’s appreciation against the dollar. But the pace of that appreciation has been very slow so far, with the renminbi rising only 0.8 percent against the dollar since then.
Agence-France Presse reports on U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer’s objections:
China’s nearly 30-billion-dollar July trade surplus, fed by record-high exports, shows Beijing must be “pushed” to address charges it keeps its currency artificially low, a US senator said Tuesday.
“These numbers show just how little motive China has to end its currency manipulation unless it is pushed to do so,” said Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, a frequent critic of Beijing’s handling of the yuan.