China-US trade up 11.8% in Jan-Jul despite rising tension
Published: Aug 07, 2022 01:14 PM Updated: Aug 07, 2022 02:10 PM
China US
China US

China-US trade rose by 11.8 percent in yuan terms in the first seven months of this year, data released by Chinese customs showed on Sunday, demonstrating "rigid" US demand for Chinese goods, experts said, though they predicted that China-US trade growth might slow to some extent in the coming months as a result of sinking bilateral relations and US economic woes.

According to data from Chinese customs on Sunday, China-US trade rose by 11.8 percent year-on-year to 2.93 trillion yuan ($433 billion) from January to July. The US remains China's third largest trading partner after the EU and ASEAN.

The figures pointed toward a very stable trend over recent weeks, as the data is almost on par with China-US trade in the first six months of this year, which amounted to an 11.7 percent growth in yuan terms, according to customs data. 

In general, China's foreign trade rose by 10.4 percent in yuan terms year-on-year in the first seven months of this year. 

He Weiwen, an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said that China-US trade is largely backed by US markets' stable demand for Chinese goods, which boosted exports from China to the country. 

In the first seven months of this year, China's exports to the US rose 15.1 percent to 2.25 trillion yuan, while imports rose 2.3 percent on a yearly basis. China's trade surplus with the US widened by 21.7 percent to 1.57 trillion yuan, customs data showed. 

"This showed that despite tense political or strategic relations between the two countries, the integrated supply chain situation between China and US markets remains unchanged, as trade is not decided by the White House, but by markets and businesses," he said. 

He noted that political power cannot completely shake China-US economic interaction, and particularly against the backdrop of a global economic slowdown, the importance of Chinese products to the US economy is obvious to all. 

Hu Qimu, chief research fellow at the Sinosteel Economic Research Institute, said that the recovery of the US economy following the easing of pandemic control measures has boosted US demand for foreign products, a large part of which are made in China. 

China-US relations showed signs of rapid deterioration following US House 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to the island of Taiwan, prompting a number of countermeasures from the Chinese government against the US, including cancelling China-US cooperation in several fields.

However, He said that since the countermeasures don't target trade, it's unlikely to result in large changes in China-US trading patterns in the second half of this year despite a potential slowdown in China-US trade growth to some extent.

Hu also stressed that as the US employment situation is improving, the Biden administration might take a more hostile stance toward China as the country becomes less dependent on external demand to drive its economy. This could cast a shadow on China-US trade in the third and fourth quarters, but a significant drop is unlikely, he told the Global Times.