China remains hub for US exports amid slower growth

China remains a leading export hub for U.S. products even as that country’s leader warned of slower economic growth.

U.S. exports to China reached $120 billion last year, making it the third-largest export market for U.S. goods, behind Canada and Mexico, the U.S. China Business Council said in a new report on Monday.


China is expected to remain a major market for U.S. exports, which have grown faster over the past decade than to any other major trading partner.

Between 2004 and 2013, U.S. exports to China increased 255 percent, whereas they were up 59 percent to China and 108 percent to Mexico over that time.

Over the weekend, China’s President Xi Jinping told his country to get used to slower growth amid weakening trade and manufacturing.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will be in Beijing on Tuesday for meetings with senior Chinese government officials to discuss the U.S.-China relationship as well as the broader global economic outlook.

Topping the agenda will be discussions about pushing up the value of China’s currency, the yuan, which has slid in recent months.

Lew has argued that letting the currency appreciate toward a market-determined exchange rate would not only help China’s economy grow but would improve competitiveness for U.S. firms.

He is scheduled to meet with People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, Vice Premier Wang Yang and Premier Li Keqiang.

China’s economic growth slowed to around 7.4 percent through the first quarter of the year.

"We must boost our confidence, adapt to the new normal condition based on the characteristics of China's economic growth in the current phase and stay cool-minded," Xi said on Saturday according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

With pressure from the United States, China’s communist government is trying to shift from a heavy reliance on trade to a more domestic consumption-based economy.

Xi said that China needs to "take timely countermeasures to reduce potential negative effects" with a focus on long-term growth.

Lew said in a Bloomberg interview on Friday that he is going to encourage Chinese leaders to stick with their reform agenda and open their markets.

“They need to have a level playing field so that their markets determine prices and so there can be competition between domestic and international goods and services.”

Later in the week, U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael B.G. FromanOn The Money: Sanders unveils plan to wipe .6T in student debt | How Sanders plan plays in rivalry with Warren | Treasury watchdog to probe delay of Harriet Tubman bills | Trump says Fed 'blew it' on rate decision Democrats give Trump trade chief high marks US trade rep spent nearly M to furnish offices: report MORE will head to Qingdao, China, to participate for several days of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.