U.S.-triggered trade frictions failed to narrow its deficit with China, but instead widened the gap, China's customs data of the first five months showed Monday.
According to the General Administration of Customs, China-U.S. goods trade dropped 9.6 percent year on year to 1.42 trillion yuan (about 206 billion U.S. dollars) during the period.
In breakdown, exports to the U.S. edged down 3.2 percent year on year to 1.09 trillion yuan, while imports from the U.S. plunged 25.7 percent year on year to 335.3 billion yuan, pushing China's surplus up 11.9 percent to 750.6 billion yuan.
China's declining trade with the U.S. mirrored that the U.S. market relied heavily on China's products, not the other way around, said Zhuang Rui, deputy dean of the Institute of International Economy from University of International Business and Economics.
Therefore, wielding the tariff stick to fix trade imbalance was a wrong move for the United States, Zhuang pointed out.
A report published by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that the U.S. deficit in goods trade totaled 891.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, hitting a record high in a decade.
Referring to the deficit as a homegrown problem, Stephen S. Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University, maintained that the U.S. trade deficit exposed the imbalance inside its own economy.
Last Thursday, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) released a research report analyzing reasons behind bilateral trade imbalance, including industrial competitiveness, international labor division and economic structure.
Only by adopting macroeconomic regulatory measures and striking a balance between supply and demand, can the U.S. utterly eliminate trade deficit with China, China's MOC report said.
If the U.S.-triggered trade frictions keep escalating, it would worsen the economic downturn both in the United States and beyond, adversely influencing different aspects of the U.S. economy, said Li Xuesong, an economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries, and both sides should address differences through dialogue and consultations in the spirit of equality, mutual respect and benefit, Li said.