China's trade surplus came to US$16.88 billion in April as imports of US$80.57 billion were offset by exports worth US$97.45 billion, according to customs figures released Friday. This puts the surplus at an average US$15.9 billion per month so far this year, higher than the 2006 average of US$14.8 billion per month, the Wall Street Journal reported. China has said repeatedly that it wants to reduce the surplus and move away from export-led growth but policies to boost imports and consumption have so far had little effect. These concerns are likely to dominate the second round of the strategic economic dialogue between the US and China, which takes place in Washington May 23-24. Beijing has tried to make some positive moves ahead of the talks, changing or rescinding a number of tax and financing policies that favored certain exports. Chinese companies have also signed 27 technology purchasing and investments agreements worth US$4.3 billion with the US. These include a commitment from PC maker Lenovo to buy US$1.3 billion in software from Microsoft.