The U.S. goods trade deficit with China, a focus of President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda, dropped to a five-year low in March amid a surge in exports, including soybeans.
The report from the Commerce Department on Thursday came amid escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. Trump threatened on Sunday to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on Friday. China has promised to retaliate if the duties were imposed.
Reuters, citing U.S. government sources, reported on Wednesday that China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a trade deal between Washington and Beijing. China on Thursday appealed to the United States to meet it halfway to salvage a deal that could end their trade war.
The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China decreased 16.2 percent to an unadjusted $20.7 billion, the lowest level since March 2014, also as imports from the world’s No. 2 economy fell 6.1 percent. Exports to China jumped 23.6 percent in March.
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