While President Donald Trump threatens Beijing over its multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States, other exporters including Germany, Taiwan and South Korea have their own surpluses with China.
Germany supplies Chinese factories with high-end equipment. Taiwan, South Korea and Japan provide computer chips and components that go into Chinese-assembled smartphones, TV sets and other goods sold to Americans.
Chinese official data show Taiwan’s trade surplus with China in the first eight months of 2017 soared 11.4 percent over a year earlier to $66.3 billion. Germany’s surplus rose 16 percent to $16.1 billion. South Korea’s was up 8 percent at $43.6 billion.
During the same period, the U.S. trade deficit with China widened by 8.4 percent to $168 billion.
Trump blames Chinese market barriers and industrial policy. He has threatened penalties over steel, and U.S. authorities are investigating whether Beijing improperly requires foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for market access.
Despite its surpluses, Germany also is expressing growing frustration about obstacles including limits on foreign acquisitions of Chinese companies.