Chinese exports and imports picked up steam last year thanks to strong global demand, data showed Friday, but its surplus with the United States, a sensitive issue with Donald Trump, widened.
Exports expanded 7.9 percent while imports soared 15.9 percent for the year, according to the General Administration of Customs.
But even as China’s trade surplus with the world fell 17 percent, shipments to the US grew 11.5 percent, causing the trade surplus to increase 10 percent to $275.8 billion.
China’s surplus with the US is a hot-button issue with the Trump administration, which added new import tariffs to a number of Chinese goods last year.
“China’s foreign trade continued to build on a solid foundation for steady growth, its potential being gradually unleashed,” said customs spokesman Huang Songping.
“As the global economy continues to recover and the Chinese economy turns to steady and sound growth, China’s foreign trade outlook in 2018 is upbeat.”