BEIJING: China’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed last year as the world’s two biggest economies exchanged punitive tariffs in a bruising trade war, official data showed Tuesday.
The figures were released just a day before the US and China are expected to sign a “phase one” agreement that marks a de-escalation in their two-year conflict.
The perennial US trade deficit with China has been a major source of anger for President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, triggering tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.
China’s surplus came in at around $295.8 billion in 2019, down 8.5 percent from the previous year’s record $323.3 billion, according to customs data.
In December, its surplus with the US was around $23.2 billion, down from $24.6 billion the month before.
As part of the interim trade deal, Beijing will buy an extra $200 billion of US products over a two-year period, according to Washington officials. China has yet to publicly confirm the figures.