CHINA – Posts strongest export growth in seven years in 2018 despite trade war


China’s exports rose 9.9 percent in 2018, its strongest trade performance in seven years, despite growing disruptions from an escalating trade war with the United States, a spokesman for China’s General Administration of Customs told journalists at a news conference in Beijing.

The world’s largest trading nation got off to a strong start in 2018, but pressure on the economy started to build later in the year as the United States and China began imposing tariffs on each other’s goods and global demand started to cool.

China’s trade surplus with the United States rose to $323.32 billion last year, the highest on record going back to 2006, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed on Monday. That compared with about $275.81 billion in 2017.

China’s exports to the United States rose 11.3 percent last year, while imports from the U.S. only increased 0.7 percent.

China’s large trade surplus with the United States has long been a sore point with Washington and is at the centre of a bitter dispute between the world’s biggest economies.