China's July exports rise despite coronavirus, US tariff war

BEIJING (AP) — China's exports rose 7.5% in July over a year earlier in a positive sign for its economy's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales to the United States rose 12.5% despite a lingering tariff war with Washington, customs data showed Friday.

Overall, exports rose to $237.6 billion, an improvement over June's 3% gain. Imports weakened by 1.4% to $175.3 billion.

China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down to fight the coronavirus and the first to reopen after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the disease in March.

The Chinese economy, the world's second-largest, grew by 3.2% over a year earlier in the three months ending in June as factories and stores reopened, rebounding from the previous quarter's 6.8% contraction.

Chinese exports rebounded faster than the global total, suggesting manufacturers are taking market share from competitors in countries that might still be under restrictions that hamper trade.

Exports to the United States rose to $43.7 billion, while imports of American goods gained 3.6% to $11.3 billion.

The country’s politically sensitive trade surplus stood at $62.3 billion.