Booming US exports to China are vital to the US economy and nearly all congressional districts, according to a report released on Sept 6 by the US-China Business Council.
The report was released at a time of serious concern about bilateral trade after the United States 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 business council’s report shows that 432 out of 435 congressional districts have seen triple-digit growth in exports of goods and services to China since 2006.
The value of US goods and services exports to China is significant for the 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 Congressional District Export Report concludes that US exports to China are vital to US economic growth.
China was the third-largest export market for the US in 2016, trailing Canada and Mexico, the report said. Total US goods exports to China stood at $113 billion in 2016.
The exports of US services to China are becoming significant. In 2015, the most recent complete year available, those exports reached $47 billion, making China also the third-largest services export market. From 2006 to 2015, US services exports to China shot up more than 400 percent, compared with 76 percent to the rest of the world.
The report said exports continue to play an essential role in the US economy and job growth. US goods exports to China come from a wide range of industries like transportation equipment, agriculture, computers and electronics, and chemicals. These exports also sustain logistics jobs in US ports and throughout the country. US services exports to China in 2015 included travel and education, royalties, transportation, business and professional services, and financial services.
The report noted the huge potential given that US goods accounted for only about 8.4 percent of the Chinese mainland’s total imports in 2015, trailing the European Union, Republic of Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The US had a 10 percent share in 2000.
While the report called on the Trump administration to pursue results-oriented engagement with China designed to address some of the trade and nontrade barriers, it said the US should push forward negotiations with China on a high-standard bilateral investment treaty.
Talks on the treaty advanced rapidly in the latter years of the Obama administration. But there has been no sign that the Trump administration will continue the talks anytime soon.