(Yicai Global) Feb. 24 -- China overtook the US and France last year to become Germany's largest trade partner for the first time.
In 2016, imports and exports between China and Germany grew to EUR170 billion (USD180 billion), making China the largest trade partner for Germany, said foreign media reports, citing the data released by the German Federal Statistical Office (FSO). France remained Germany's second largest trade partner with a total trade volume of EUR167 billion, and the U.S. slipped to the third place (EUR165 billion).
Back in 2015, as the U.S. economy recovered and the euro weakened, the US overtook France as Germany's No. 1 trade partner for the first time since 1961.
The media reports suggest that the new trend is likely to be welcomed by the German government as it would help the country to achieve the goal of global trade liberalization, given US President Donald Trump's proposed import tariffs policy and his advisors' accusations that Germany boost its exports, taking advantage of a weakening euro.
German deputy prime minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said if the Trump administration insisted on introducing trade protectionist policies, the EU should divert the focus of its economic policies toward Asia.
Judging by exports alone, the US remained the biggest importer of German products last year, while Germany's exports to the US totaled EUR107 billion. France imported EUR202 billion worth of products from Germany, and remained at the second place.