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13 January 2018, 05:28 | Terri Saunders
China's imports and exports to the United States expanded 15.2 percent in 2017 to 3.95 trillion yuan, accounting for 14.2 percent of the total trade volume.
"China's economy has been rising in moderation, and imports and exports have continued to increase, achieving double-digit recovery growth rates", Huang said. Russian Federation estimated in 2016 that the annual trade flows between the two world powers were at $66.1 billion.
Chinese customs will formally release data for trade with North Korea in the second half of the month, along with a breakdown by product.
The U.S. was China's second-largest trade partner after the European Union, according to customs.
Mr. Trump savaged China as a predatory trader during his campaign for the presidency. "Appetite for imported iron ore from Chinese steel mills remains strong".
Economists had expected China's trade surplus to have narrowed to $37 billion in December from November's $40.21 billion.
Washington has also launched the procedure for a probe into whether Chinese companies are stealing the intellectual property of USA companies.
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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 investigation, based on the rarely-used Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, could be a precursor to retaliatory US policies such as hefty tariffs on Chinese imports.
China's trade figures don't match US figures due to different calculation methods.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, before the latest trade figures were published, Mr. Trump suggested he would have resorted to sterner measures to correct the trade imbalance with China if it weren't for Beijing's help in pressuring North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons development.
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.
"Export growth declined slightly last month but remained healthy". Imports missed analysts' forecast of 13.0 percent growth and were a sharp decrease from the 17.7 percent rise in the previous month.
Arrivals for December came in at about 84.3 million tonnes, versus 94.54 million tonnes in November, according to Reuters' calculations based on annual data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
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