TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

China passes U.S. as world's biggest nation for trading

By Bloomberg News
Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 6:36 p.m.
 

China surpassed the United States to become the world's biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports, a milestone in the Asian nation's challenge to America's dominance in global commerce that emerged after the end of World War II in 1945.

U.S. exports and imports last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the Commerce Department said last week. China's customs administration reported last month that the country's total trade in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion. China had a $231.1 billion annual trade surplus, while the United States had a trade deficit of $727.9 billion.

China's emergence as the biggest global trading nation gives it increasing influence, threatening to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for countries including Germany, which will export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to neighboring France, said Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Jim O'Neill.

“For so many countries around the world, China is becoming rapidly the most important bilateral trade partner,” said O'Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs's asset management division.

Still, the U.S. economy is more than double the size of China's, according to the World Bank. In 2011, the U.S. gross domestic product reached $15 trillion, while China's totaled $7.3 trillion.

“It is remarkable that an economy that is only a fraction of the size of the U.S. economy has a larger trading volume,” said Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“The surpassing of the U.S. is not because of a substantially undervalued currency that has led to an export boom,” said Lardy, noting that Chinese imports have grown faster than exports since 2007.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Cash stash bolsters U.S. Steel
  2. Kennametal’s CEO to retire at yearend
  3. Dick’s beats expectations, but golf sinks profits
  4. Sprint cancels Framily, rolls out new data pricing plan
  5. Upbeat earnings, housing reports pump up stock market
  6. Designer sues Barnes & Noble over backpack profits
  7. Shared offices provide advantages for startups, nonprofits, others
  8. Government may be trying to force FedEx into settlement, experts say
  9. Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer exits board of directors
  10. Housing starts jump 15.7% to 8-month high, suggesting recovery back on track
  11. HTC to construct Windows version of flagship phone
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.