Others say the latest data shows how hard it will be for the U.S. to win the trade war, arguing that Americans want to buy Chinese-made products.
The US trade deficit with China hit a record high in June, according to a Reuters analysis, despite President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani: Trump interview with Mueller "further away" ACLU calls for Trump officials to hand over info on immigrant children Kushner to join Pompeo for meetings with Mexican leaders MORE's efforts to alter the trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.
Over the first six months of the year the surplus climbed to $133.8 billion as total two-way trade continued to expand despite the face-off. That leaves about $80 billion for penalty tariffs after Beijing's previous increases either imposed or threatened on a total of $50 billion of USA goods are counted.
Companies worry the spiralling dispute might dampen global trade and economic growth.
China's June exports rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier, China General Administration of Customs reported, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase according to the latest Reuters poll of 39 analysts, and down from a 12.6 percent gain in May.
China's exports to the United States rose 13.6 percent in the first half of 2018 from a year earlier, while its imports from the USA rose 11.8 percent in the same period.
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As the world's largest exporter, China has threatened retaliatory action against the tariffs and pledged that it would lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
Amy Zhuang has warned that there could be knock-on effects if the U.S. proceeds with its proposal for a new round of tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods.
Investors fear a prolonged trade battle with the United States could harm business confidence and investment, disrupting global supply chains and harming growth in China and the rest of the world.
The commerce ministry also said this week it will use funds collected from tariffs charged on imports from the U.S.to help ease the impact of US trade actions on Chinese companies and their employees.
In yuan terms, China's exports grew 3.1% in June and imports rose 6.0%.
Growth in imports for June showed a moderate slowdown from May, official data showed on Friday.
The June figures may have received a boost from U.S. and Chinese traders who rushed to fill orders for soybeans, ball bearings and other goods in both directions before threatened tariff hikes took effect.