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Surge In Imports Dragged On GDP Says ING

     BEIJING (MNI) - China's December trade performance rose to a record, with
both imports and exports rose to the most ever, helped by easing trade tensions
with the U.S. and higher commodity prices, Zou Zhiwu, a spokesman of the General
Administration of Customs, told reporters on Tuesday. 
     Here are the main takeaways from Zou's comments on China's 2019 trade
performance:
     - Exports of toys, plastic products and furniture in December rose 26.1%,
22.7% and 14.2% y/y respectively. Imports such as soybeans and meat from the
U.S. also jumped sharply.
     - China is likely to stay as the biggest trading nation in 2019. While
total trade in dollar terms fell slightly, exports still rose 0.5%, Zou said.
     - Private-sector businesses overtook foreign trade companies as the biggest
trading player, accounting for over half of total exports. 
     - China's trade is likely to steadily grow in 2020 as the government
further implements pro-growth policies including tax and fee reductions. 
     - U.S. Treasury's removal of China's designation as a currency manipulator
is "the right choice with positive implications," Zou said.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: wanxia.lin@marketnews.com
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