March 20, 2019

China's trade surplus with the United States grew in 2018 but tariffs bite

14 January 2019, 08:25 | Joann Bryant

China December exports unexpectedly drop

Donald Trump's trade war hits Chinese exports

China's global trade volume rose past year but its surplus with the world fell 16.2% to $351.76 billion in 2018, as imports rose 15.8% while exports gained 9.9%.

China's trade surplus with the United States rose to $323.32 billion past year, the highest on record going back to 2006, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed on Monday. In 2017, mutual trade amounted to $84.07 billion demonstrating a growth of 20.8 percent. At the same time, China's imports from Russian Federation grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion.

China's surplus with the United States is a hot-button issue with the administration of President Donald Trump, which slapped new import tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods a year ago. China's surplus is the U.S.'s trade deficit.

The world's second largest economy stuttered in December, suffering its worst trading month in two years.

The customs administration said it will work to "improve the country's business environment and expand foreign trade in order to keep employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment" stable.

"Private enterprises contributed more than half to China's foreign trade growth in 2018, a bright spot of China's foreign trade development", said the spokesman.

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

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