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Cheap Oil Helps China Unseat Canada as Top U.S. Trade Partner

Workers arrange steel pipes at a factory in Huaibei.
Photographer: AFP/Getty Images

China is poised to become the biggest U.S. trading partner this year, eclipsing Canada for the first time as the slump in oil prices reduces the value of energy exports for America’s neighbor to the north.

Trade in goods with China reached $441.6 billion this year through September, exceeding the $438.1 billion balance with Canada for the first time in U.S. Commerce Department data going back to 1985. Figures published Wednesday also showed that the U.S. trade shortfall with China is now at an all-time high, fueled by record imports.