Depending how you spin the data... Yes, U.S. exports to China have grown, but imports have climbed much faster.

Posted by scapozzola on 08/07/2012

Politico Morning Money reports on a new study from the U.S.-China Business Council that says U.S. exports to China have risen over the past decade:

"Congressional districts all over the country are seeing exports to China outpace exports to the rest of the world ... Out of 435 congressional districts, 420 districts had higher growth in exports to China in 2011 than they did to other markets around the globe. ... The nearly $88 billion increase in exports to China during 2000—2011 exceeded the increase to every other market for US goods and farm products, with the exception of Canada."

Here's the big irony: While exports to China may be growing, imports from China are growing at a faster pace.

Some U.S. government data on the 2000-2011 period cited:

  • In 2000, U.S. exports to China totaled $16.2 billion, while imports from China were $100 billion.  That meant a U.S. trade deficit with China in 2000 of $83.2 billion.
  • In 2011, U.S. exports to China totaled $103.9 billion, while imports from China were $399.3 billion.  That meant a U.S. trade deficit with China in 2011 of $295.4 billion.

So, it's nice that exports to China rose by $88 billion, but imports rose by nearly $300 billion in the same timeframe.

Doesn't sound so great when you realize that imports far outpace exports, or that the U.S. trade deficit with China (of a whopping $295 billion) is by far the largest bilateral trade deficit in the history of the world.

How does China continue to export so heavily?  By violating world trade law. Specifically, Beijing deliberately undervalues its currency to gain an artificial price advantage.  It also massively subsidizes its state-owned enterprises.

What's needed now is firm U.S. action to enforce trade laws against this sort of cheating.

Read more about potential legislation to address China's trade violations.


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