China's trade surplus jumped 67% in January to US$15.88 billion, Reuters reported. The trade surplus, which was US$9 million in January 2006, has increased momentum since then. For 2006, China's global trade surplus soared nearly 75% from the previous year to a record $177.5 billion and the average monthly surplus was about US$20 billion. China's exports hit US$86.62 billion, up 33% from January 2006, while imports totaled US$70.74 billion, up 27.5% from a year earlier. Trade has been a crucial driver of China's growth, but the burgeoning surplus is causing political and economic problems. The US has pressured Beijing to ease market barriers and currency controls, and says the reminbi is undervalued, giving Chinese exports an unfair advantage and boosting the US trade deficit.