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China surpasses the United States to become the world’s largest trader

By Mason White 10:21 AM February 10, 2013
Chinese currency 

By: Debbie Gross
China’s position as a trading partner took a giant leap forward as it officially became the world’s largest in trade, according to press reports in The United States.

China overtook the U.S. to become the largest trading nation last year, as determined by the sum of exports and imports, a milestone in the challenge of the Asian nation to U.S. dominance in world trade that emerged after the end of World War Two, in 1945.

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

The emergence of China as the world’s largest in global trade gives it growing influence that threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs, as it becomes the most important trading partner for countries.