China-US trade up 6.9% from Jan-Nov as phase-one deal continues

Source: Published: 2020/12/7 11:46:58

China US Photo: Xinhua

China-US trade rose 6.9 percent year-on-year to $3.65 trillion yuan ($558.43 billion) in the first 11 months this year, extending a growth trend over the past few months, official data showed on Monday. 

The US was China's third-largest trading partner in the first 11 months of 2020, with total bilateral trade up 6.9 percent, hitting 3.65 trillion yuan, taking up 12.6 percent of China’s total foreign trade, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Among them, exports to the US were 2.82 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.9 percent; imports from the US were 823.32 billion yuan, an increase of 7.2 percent; the trade surplus with the US was 2 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.8 percent.

Driven by surging demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has expanded imports of products such as medical supplies and devices from China. With concrete efforts in implementing the phase one trade deal, China has increased imports of agricultural and other products, according to experts.

In the first 10 months, China-US trade value surged 3.9 percent year-on-year to 3.2 trillion yuan ($480 billion), almost double the growth in the first three quarters, according to customs data. From January to October, China’s exports to the US grew 3.6 percent year-on-year to 2.48 trillion yuan and its imports from the US increased 5.2 percent to 725.65 billion yuan.

“China’s exports and imports with the US are both likely to continue to maintain the growing recent trend,” said Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

The US should appreciate the positive signs shown in bilateral trade and continue to manage differences through dialogue with China to expand mutual benefit, said experts.

While China has been making sincere efforts to maintain the phase one trade deal, it’s unlikely bilateral trade will reach pre-trade-war levels this year as the US is still embattled by the pandemic, experts added.

In the phase one trade deal, trade in goods includes three categories, in which agricultural products and manufactured goods have seen obvious increases in the second half of the year, Wang Xiaosong, an economics professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times.

Chinese imports of US soybeans surged almost three-fold in October on a year-on-year basis, customs data showed in late November, as contracts booked following the phase one trade deal arrived in China.

China has increasing demands for agricultural products, but those needs are expected to drop in first half of 2021 due to seasonal reasons, said Gao.

While US President-elect Joe Biden last week said that he would not immediately remove tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products which were imposed against WTO rules, Chinese experts say growth in China-US trade is likely to remain at similar levels in December and throughout the first half of 2021.

“Bilateral trade in 2020 is expected to reach about 80 percent of that recorded in 2017 before the trade war was launched by the US,” Wang said.

Compared to the Trump administration, the incoming Biden administration will be more tactful, experts believe. While continue its tough strategy against China, the US is likely to resume trade talks for a phase two trade deal under pressure from US businesses that are suffering from the trade war, experts noted.

“We hope the US can appreciate the good signs shown in bilateral trade data and manage differences through talks and expand mutual benefit,” Gao said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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