Home Breaking News China ousts U.S. as Germany’s top trading partner

China ousts U.S. as Germany’s top trading partner

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China upstaged the U.S. and France to become Germany’s leading trading partner for the first time last year, highlighting the broad footprint of Germany’s export-oriented economy—a feature that has helped it weather external shocks in the past.

The move could be a harbinger of the shift to Asia some German politicians and business leaders have called for in case U.S. President Donald Trump delivers on his protectionist campaign pledges.

Opinion: If Trump wants a trade war, starting one with Germany makes more sense

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Sales generated from exports to and imports from China reached €169.9 billion ($179.72 billion) last year, putting the Asian giant ahead of Germany’s longtime biggest trading partner France. Trade with China also overtook trade with the U.S., which was Germany’s number one trade partner a year earlier, according to data released on Friday.

Read: Why world trade growth just saw its fifth straight decline

The drop in U.S. exports to Germany that underpinned the country’s ranking fall in the list of Germany’s main trade partners wasn’t related to Trump’s election, Germany’s BGA export trade group said. But it could become a trend if the president made good on his threat to erect new trade barriers, causing others to do the same.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com

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