Exports to China continue to be important to US economic growth
- US goods exports to China continue to outpace export growth to the rest of the world. In 2017, the United States exported more goods to China than ever before—more than $127 billion. US exports of goods to China have grown by 86 percent over the last decade, while exports to the rest of the world grew by only 21 percent.
- China is the third-largest market for US goods and services exports. China was a top market for US goods exports in 2017, with only NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico buying more goods last year. It was also the third-largest market for US services exports, following the United Kingdom and Canada.
- Exports to China support 1 million American jobs. States across the country have jobs that are supported thanks to US exports to China, making trade important to not only US companies and consumers, but also US workers. US goods exports to China come from a wide range of industries including transportation equipment, agriculture, computers and electronics, and oil and gas, sustaining logistics jobs in America’s ports and throughout the country. US services exports to China included travel and education, transportation, financial, business and professional services, among other industries.
- Goods exports to China rebounded in 2017. Following two years of declines, US goods exports to China increased by $14 billion in 2017—growing twice as fast as exports to the rest of the world.
- Exports of services to China are significant, and largely drive growth in US services exports. In 2016, the most recent complete year of available data, US services exports to China surpassed $50 billion for the first time, totaling more than $52 billion--only slightly less than what we sold that year to Canada. In the decade from 2007 to 2016, US services exports to China increased more than 300 percent, while services exports to the rest of the world increased about 50 percent. US services exports to China grew by 12 percent in 2016, while US services exports to the rest of the world contracted by 0.6 percent.
China: An important market for states across the country
- Most states have seen significant increases in exports of goods and services to China in the past decade. Forty-nine states have increased their goods exports to China in this time period, with 17 states experiencing triple-digit growth since 2008. Every US state had triple-digit services export growth to China in the decade between 2007 and 2016; 31 states had export growth of more than 300 percent.
- China is among the top five goods and services export markets for most states. China was the top goods export market for 5 states in 2017, and among the top five markets for 46 states. In services exports, China was the top market for 18 states in 2016, and a top five market for all fifty states.
- More states are exporting at least $1 billion in goods or services to China. Last year, 30 states exported more than $1 billion in goods to China, and 15 states exported more than $1 billion in services to China in 2016. In 2008, only 21 states exported more than $1 billion of goods to China and in 2007 only three states exported more than $1 billion in services to China.
- While larger states saw significant growth in exports to China, smaller states benefited, too. Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Wyoming all saw over 300 percent growth in goods exports to China since 2008. Some of the most significant growth in services exports was in small states. Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota are among the states that saw some of the largest increase in services exports to China from 2007 to 2016, with an increase of at least 400 percent.
More can be done to expand US exports to China
- China is a large market for US exports--but it should be even larger. Trade between the US and China grew by 15 percent in 2017. However, the US lags behind other economies as a supplier to the China market. The US ranks as the 5th largest source of China’s imports, behind the EU, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.
- Expanding the US share of the China market requires a variety of tools. China maintains an array of tariff and non-tariff barriers that prevent more American goods, agriculture products, and services from reaching Chinese customers. The United States should pursue multiple approaches to improve market access for US companies, including bringing legally sound, industry-supported cases to the World Trade Organization; coordinating with like-minded countries on advocacy with China; and engaging in results-oriented dialogue with China to address barriers of longstanding concern.
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