The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to a record level in August, according to figures produced by the Commerce Department on Oct. 13.
As Congress weighs hitting Beijing with sanctions over its currency policy, the department said the deficit with China stood at $29 billion in the month, passing the previous record set in August 2010.
The figure, which was not adjusted for seasonal variations in trade, will likely fuel allegations in Washington that China keeps its currency artificially weak in order to make its exports cheaper.
Although leaders in the House of Representatives have signaled they would block a bill that China has warned could trigger a trade war, anti-China sentiment is on the rise ahead US elections in November 2012.
The bill envisions retaliatory duties on Chinese exports if the value of the yuan is judged unfairly "misaligned."
Beijing has denounced it as "a ticking time-bomb" that threatens to blow up economic ties between the economic superpowers, parts of the US business community opposed it, and the White House has criticized it.
The broader U.S. trade deficit with the world was largely unchanged in August, reaching $45.6 billion.
Exports reached a record $177.6 billion and imports reached $223.2 billion.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011