The Latest: China '18 trade surplus with US at record $323B

China trade surplus with US hits record $323 billion in 2018

11:55 a.m.

China's politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States surged to a record $323.3 billion in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington intensified.

However, the data show December exports to U.S. contracted 3.5 percent compared with year ago as Trump tariff hikes hit.

China's global exports rose 7.1 percent to $2.5 trillion, down from the 7.9 percent rate reported earlier for 2017. Imports rose 12.9 percent to $2.1 trillion, down from the previous year's 15.9 percent.

The country's global trade surplus was $352 billion.

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10:30 a.m.

China's government reports 2018 exports rose 7.1 percent as a trade battle with Washington intensified, while imports were up 12.9 percent.

Monday's announcement comes as Beijing tries to reverse a decline in economic growth while facing a potential fall-off in American orders for Chinese goods following President Donald Trump's tariff hikes in the fight over China's technology ambitions.

Chinese exporters also face pressure from cooling consumer demand in other global markets.