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China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation Measured in Goods

February 10, 2013 Comments off

bloomberg.com

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.

A man takes a photograph of commercial buildings at dusk in the Pudong area of Shanghai. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/BloombergPhotographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

China’s growing influence in global commerce threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for some countries. Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jim O’Neill.

“For so many countries around the world, China is becoming rapidly the most Read more…

Obama’s Push for China Currency Changes Could Cost U.S. Consumers

January 17, 2011 Comments off

When President Obama meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao this week, one of the top items on the agenda will be resolving a dispute over how China sets the value of its currency. If Obama gets his way, it could spur U.S. exports, but it could also mean higher prices for American consumers.

For over a decade, China has held down the value of its currency, the Yuan, in relation to the dollar. That helps keep the cost of the goods Americans buy from China low and the price of American goods sold in China high. The cheap Chinese currency has helped open a wide trade imbalance between the two countries. In 2010, China’s trade advantage with the U.S. was more than $252 billion.

The Obama administration has made stopping China’s currency manipulation a central focus of the president’s push to increase American exports.

“China still closely manages the level of its exchange rate and restricts the ability of capital to move in and out of the country,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said is a speech last week. “As the [International Monetary Fund] has said consistently, these policies have the effect of keeping the Chinese currency substantially undervalued.”

On the surface, it’s a positive for Read more…

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