January 18, 2019

China '18 trade surplus with U.S. at record $323B

14 January 2019, 08:27 | Austin Hogan

China December exports unexpectedly drop

Donald Trump's trade war hits Chinese exports

On a global level, China's exports have grown by 9.9 percent a year ago, but the Asian country also marked a 15.8 percent growth in imports.

China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $323.32 billion a year ago, the highest on record going back to 2006, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed on Monday.

In December 2018, therefore, China imported 9.23 million tons of gas, both by pipeline and as LNG, up 17 percent on the year.

However, in a sign that the White House's measures are having an impact, China's exports to the U.S. sank last month.

The country's commerce minister told state media on Friday that China will work to straighten out trade frictions with the USA this year.

However, the data show December exports to US contracted 3.5 percent compared with year ago as Trump tariff hikes hit.

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The bigger trade gap may add pressure on the Trump administration to raise the tariffs on China further.

The Trump administration also wants Beijing to buy more American goods to narrow a yawning trade gap - a sticking point for USA president - and allow foreign players better access to the Chinese market.

In December alone, China's trade surplus with the US was $29.87 billion.

China's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States surged to a record $323.3 billion in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington intensified.

Official data showed the manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in more than two years.

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