U.S.-Chinese trade persists amid pandemic
China and the United States have been exchanging goods at the fastest rate in years, making it seem like the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship has never happened.
Eighteen months after the Trump administration signed the partial “phase one” trade deal, the deal has turned out to be a truce at best. The US trade deficit has not narrowed, most of the levies are still in place and that has not led to negotiations on other economic issues.
Yet bilateral merchandise trade is an area of stability in a relationship that has otherwise continued to deteriorate, with rising tensions over Hong Kong, Taiwan, human rights, the origins of the covid pandemic. 19, the hacking charges and many other hot spots.
Monthly bilateral trade, which fell to $ 19 billion in February 2020 amid Chinese plant closures, has rebounded in the past year to new highs, according to official Chinese data. This boom is expected to continue, with China purchasing millions of tonnes of American agricultural products for this year and 2022, and American consumers stuck at home continue to shop and import in record amounts.
Although the US government figures differ somewhat, dynamic trade has defied all expectations that tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods would force a decoupling of supply chains.
Instead, both sides have learned to live with the tariffs, with Chinese companies buying more to meet the terms of the 2020 trade deal, and US companies buying goods they can’t get elsewhere to meet. to high household demand fueled in part by billions of dollars. in reviving the government.
“We have seen the strong consumer demand that has occurred throughout the pandemic, and we have seen import levels just soar,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chains and from customs policy to the National Retail Federation, which represents mom-and-pop store salespeople through the big box chain giants. “This is a strong sign that the economy continues to recover.”
South Korea and Taiwan’s exports to the United States also increased during the same period, underscoring the strength of American demand despite one of the worst covid-19 epidemics of any country.
Nearly half of the $ 259 billion in freight entering and leaving the Port of Los Angeles – the largest in the United States – is to China and Hong Kong. U.S. demand for goods continues unabated, with record inbound shipments to the port in May as businesses begin to restock ahead of the Christmas shopping season.
“All signs point to a robust second semester,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said at a recent press briefing, noting that the fall, back-to-school, Halloween fashion items and Christmas were already arriving on the docks.