China Trade Surplus Jumps 74% to Record $177B in 2006; 8 Fold Jump in 5 Years

China's trade surplus swelled 74% to a record $177.5 billion last year as exports surged, according to the government-controlled Xinhua News Agency said.

Exports rose 27% and imports gained 20%, Xinhua reported, citing the General Administration of Customs. The surplus has soared almost eightfold since 2001, when China joined the World Trade Organization.

  • The December surplus was $21 billion, the third-highest on record after November's $22.9 billion and $23.8 billion in October.
  • In the first 11 months of 2006 the US trade deficit with China surged to $213.5 billion from $185.3 billion in the same time a year earlier.
  • China's copying of movies, software and other products costs multinational companies more than $60 billion a year, according to the U.S. government.

The surge in overseas sales has helped drive China's foreign-exchange reserves to $1 trillion, the world's highest.

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