China continued to widen its lead as the top trading partner for two U.S. major ports last year, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Japan was the second trade partner of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California, to be followed by South Korea, according to the study entitled "International Trade Trends and Impacts".
The twin ports rank fifth globally in container activity. They are expected to handle 17.2 million containers by the end of 2007, a projected 9.2 percent increase from last year, said Jack Kyser, chief economist of Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
International trade activity in Southern California is set to break a record this year despite a slowdown in the nation's economy, said Kyser who prepared the study.
The total value of two-way trade at the Los Angeles Customs District should grow to 375.1 billion dollars, a 13.9 percent increase from last year, Kyser said.
The Los Angeles Customs District recorded 329.4 billion dollars worth of two-way trade last year, ranking it first in the United States, according to Kyser.