China-US trade back to growth in 2020 despite sanctions, export controls
Published: Jan 14, 2021 10:53 AM Updated: Jan 14, 2021 12:23 PM

Photo:Global Times

Trade between the world's top two economies was back on the growth track in 2020, Chinese customs data showed on Thursday, reversing a plunge in the previous year when bruising trade tensions clobbered bilateral imports and exports.

China's exports to the US grew by 7.9 percent year-on-year to $451.81 billion, while its imports from the US rallied 9.8 percent to $134.91 billion, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC). 

The US was China's third-largest trading partner over the past year, after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU.

However, in growth terms, the US was a more thriving trade partner.

Infographic: GT

China's trade with ASEAN was up 6.7 percent in 2020 while its imports and exports with the EU grew 4.9 percent.

Chinese imports of agricultural goods from the US jumped 66.9 percent in 2020, with soybean imports up 56.3 percent and pork imports soaring 223.8 percent, the GAC revealed at the press conference on Thursday. 

Thursday's figures point to an apparent reversal of a bruising year in 2019 when China's exports to the US plunged by 12.5 percent year-on-year to $418.5 billion and its imports to the US plummeted 20.9 percent to $122.7 billion. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has dealt a heavy blow to the US economy, is seen as fuelling its demand for Chinese products, especially medical items and stay-at-home products, although the Trump administration has over the past year continued to disrupt bilateral ties through sanctions and export controls. 

Global Times