China's surging exports widen trade surplus with US

Frederick Owens
January 13, 2018

By that data, last year's surplus is a record high, the wire service reported.

"In terms of how big of an impact it (falling trade) had on North Korea, there was definitely impact because some of their products could only go to China while others could only be imported from China", said Chen Fengying, an economics expert at state-backed China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $54 billion for the month, the highest since January 2016.

China's exports for the full year rose 7.9 percent, the fastest rate since 2013, while imports gained 15.9 percent, the best since 2011.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly signaled tougher action on what he calls unfair practices that have lead to a massive trade deficit with China. "Appetite for imported iron ore from Chinese steel mills remains strong".

China's imports from North Korea plunged in December to their lowest level in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014, with trade curbed by United Nations sanctions aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

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Washington has also launched the procedure for a probe into whether Chinese companies are stealing the intellectual property of USA companies.

"The next stage is an open economy that focuses on a balance of trade", he said.

A day before, the Chinese Commerce Ministry's spokesman sounded a defensive note to reporters about China's trade and said that the "inevitable" frictions should be resolved through negotiation. The U.S.is expected to release the findings of the investigation soon.

In December, China's exports jumped 10.9% from a year ago to $231.8 billion, down from a 12.3% pace in the previous month. Last month marked the first time since mid-2016 that imports grew slower than exports. Imports missed analysts' forecast of 13.0 percent growth and were a sharp decrease from the 17.7 percent rise in the previous month.

The drop contributed to an overall deceleration in China's imports and exports, which highlighted ebbing momentum in the world's second-largest economy.

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