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China becomes largest trading partners for US in April despite COVID-19

Trade between China and the United States rose sharply in April from the prior month amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making China America’s largest trading partner, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Trade between the two countries increased to 39.7 billion dollars in April, up over 40 percent from the prior month, surpassing Mexico and Canada, the report said in an article published on Sunday, calling China a “bright spot” for the United States in a “gloomy global trade picture.”

Meanwhile, the overall U.S. imports fell by 13.7 percent to 200.7 billion dollars in April while exports fell by 20.5 percent to 151.3 billion dollars, with deficit widening by 16.7 percent to 49.4 billion dollars in the month, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

In its latest Global Economic Prospects released last week, the World Bank Group projected that the global economy is on track to shrink by 5.2 percent this year amid the pandemic, while expecting the Chinese economy to grow by 1 percent.

The multilateral lender said U.S. economy could shrink by 6.1 percent this year. The U.S. Federal Reserve has recently projected U.S. economy to contract by 6.5 percent in 2020, with the unemployment rate falling to 9.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

“China looks like it could be the biggest engine of global GDP growth in 2020 and maybe 2021,” Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal report as saying. “We want American companies to benefit from that absolutely.”

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