China's general trade surplus is narrowing, with an expert saying that China ought to develop trade relations with countries other than the U.S. to keep its trade balance.
China will no longer be among the top three countries in terms of trade surpluses amid strong imports and weaker exports, Christian Grimme, an expert at the German-based research institution named Institute of Economic Research (IFO), commented on Monday, according to a statement published by the IFO on its official website.
Grimme said China's narrowing trade surplus is mainly due to there being fewer exports to the U.S. as well as Europe.
China is involved in an ongoing trade dispute with the U.S., with the two countries imposing billions of tariff increases on each other.
On Thursday, a fresh round of the U.S. tariff increases on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect.
"The U.S. tariff increases on Chinese goods are causing the Sino-U.S. trade surplus to narrow and in the future it's possible that a trade deficit might emerge for China's trade with the U.S.," Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce's International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times on Thursday.
But according to Bai, as long as China maintains good trade relations with other countries and regions, like Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it still can achieve balanced international trade.
From January to July, China exported $1.387 trillion worth of products while importing $1.221 trillion products, with a trade surplus of $166 billion during the period, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The number compared with a trade surplus of $231.7 billion in the first seven months in 2017, the data showed.
Grimme also noted that Germany will still be the country with the largest current account surplus in 2018, as in the past two years.
But the U.S., despite its recent efforts to block imports, still would likely be the country with the largest current account deficit.