Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

China's trade surplus with the U.S. grew in 2018 but tariffs bite

China's trade surplus with the U.S. grew in 2018 but tariffs bite

Trade turnover between Russian Federation and China soared by almost 30 percent in 2018, reaching a record number of $107.06 billion, according to the latest report released by China's General Administration of Customs (GAC).

In 2017, the trade difference between the two world's largest economies was $275.8 billion in China's favor.

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

China's trade surplus with the USA widened a year ago, while the country's imports and exports fell in December as the trade war begins to bite in the world's second biggest economy. Imports rose 12.9 percent to $2.1 trillion, down from the previous year's 15.9 percent.

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The customs administration will work to "improve the country's business environment and expand foreign order to keep employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment" stable, Li said. China's surplus is the U.S.'s trade deficit. That reflects the impact of Beijing's retaliatory tariffs and encouragement to importers to buy more from non-U.S. suppliers.

But a slew of bad data has added to concerns about China's economy, which is expected to have grown around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017 and the weakest rate in nearly three decades.

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

China's trade growth slowed in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington heated up and global consumer demand weakened.

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