China’s trade surplus with the United States widened to a record $31 billion in August as exports surged despite American tariff hikes, potentially adding fuel to President Donald Trump’s battle with Beijing over industrial policy.

Customs data showed exports to the United States rose 13.4 percent to $44.4 billion, ticking up from July’s 13.3 percent growth. Imports of U.S. goods rose 11.1 percent to $13.3 billion, decelerating from the previous month’s 11.8 percent.

That could help reignite U.S. demands that Beijing narrow its trade gap, which has temporarily been overshadowed by their clash over complaints China steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

Associated Press