2012-12-04yahoo.com

In just five years, China has surpassed the United States as a trading partner for much of the world, including U.S. allies such as South Korea and Australia, according to an Associated Press analysis of trade data. As recently as 2006, the U.S. was the larger trading partner for 127 countries, versus just 70 for China. By last year the two had clearly traded places: 124 countries for China, 76 for the U.S.

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The United States is still the world's biggest importer, but China is gaining. It was a bigger market than the United States for 77 countries in 2011, up from 20 in 2000, according to the AP analysis.

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And the United States still does more trade overall -- but just barely. If the trend continues, China will push past the U.S. this year, a remarkable feat for a country so poor 30 years ago that the average person had never talked on a telephone.


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