FILE- In this July, 5, 2018, file photo photo, a ship to shore crane prepares to load a 40-foot shipping container onto a container ship at the Port of Savannah in Savannah, Ga. The higher costs resulting from the tariffs have yet to inflict much overall damage to a still-robust American economy, which is less reliant on international trade than most other countries are. Spurred by lower taxes, the economy grew at an impressive 3.4 percent annual rate from July through September after having surged 4.2 percent in the previous quarter. And employers added 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)

China 2018 trade growth slowed as US trade battle heated up

January 13, 2019 - 9:50 pm

BEIJING (AP) — China's trade growth slowed in 2018 as a tariff battle with Washington heated up and global consumer demand weakened.

Exports rose 7.1 percent, customs data showed Monday, down from the 7.9 percent reported earlier for 2017. Import growth declined to 12.9 percent from the previous year's 15.9 percent.

The deceleration of exports adds to pressure on Beijing to resolve its costly tariff battle with Washington over Chinese technology ambitions.

Exports to the United States held up through late 2018 despite President Donald Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese goods. But forecasters say American orders are set to decline sharply.