Encouraging report comes amid heightened scrutiny of trade practices
Booming exports to China are vital to the US economy and nearly all congressional districts, according to a report released on Wednesday by the US-China Business Council (USCBC).
The report was issued at a time of serious concern about bilateral trade after the US announced two weeks ago a Section 301 investigation into China’s intellectual property policies and practices and a threat by US President Donald Trump this week to cut trade with any country doing business with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The USCBC report shows that 432 out of 435 congressional districts have seen triple-digit growth in the export of goods and services to China since 2006.
The value of US goods and services exports to China is significant for congressional districts, the report said. China was a top-three goods-export market for 263 districts in 2016, and among the top five for 358 districts.
China was the top services-export market in 2015 for 93 congressional districts and a top five market for 399 districts.
The 448-page report, titled Congressional District Export Report, includes detailed figures for each district and concludes that US exports to China are vital to US economic growth.
According to the report, China was the third-largest export market for the US in 2016, behind Canada and Mexico. Total US goods exported to China stood at $113 billion in 2016.
In 2015, the most recent available year of complete data, US services exports to China reached $47 billion, making China also the third-largest services-export market. From 2006 to 2015, US services exports to China rose more than 400 percent, compared with 76 percent elsewhere.
The services sector accounts for an increasing part of China’s GDP as the country moves towards a consumption-based economy.
Despite slowing global trade, US exports of goods services to China continue to outpace exports to other major markets, according to the report.
On average, US goods exports to China grew by 8 percent annually over the past 10 years, despite the modest decline over the past two years versus 2014. Of the US’ top 10 goods-export markets, only Japan had positive export growth in 2016.
US services exports to China also grew more rapidly than all other major trading partners, averaging nearly 19 percent annually over the last decade. Only Brazil came close over the same period, with 17 percent average annual growth, according to the report.
China’s maturing economy is undergoing important changes that have resulted in a slowdown in GDP and trade growth. Even so, US exports of goods and services to China have grown faster than exports to any other major US trading partner over the past decade, the report said.