China is poised to become the world’s top trading nation, a position long held by the United States.
China reported Friday that its total trade for 2013 reached $4.2 trillion, a sharp increase over the previous year. It is the first time the world’s most populous country has cleared the $4 trillion barrier, a feat accomplished despite lackluster numbers for the final month of the year.
The U.S. has not yet reported trade numbers for December, but China is virtually assured the top ranking.
In the first 11 months of the year, U.S. imports and exports totaled $3.5 trillion, according to the Department of Commerce. To retain the top spot, the U.S. would have to more than double its average monthly performance in December.