China-US trade reaches 703 billion yuan in Jan-Feb, down 10.6% y-o-y: customs data
Published: Mar 07, 2023 06:00 PM
China US

China US

Two-way trade between China and the US reached 703 billion yuan ($101.2 billion) in the first two months this year, down 10.6 percent year-on-year, official data showed on Tuesday.

The volume accounts for 11.4 percent of China's total foreign trade, compared to 12.7 percent for the corresponding period last year. Chinese experts warned of possible further decline if Washington sticks to its protectionist approach toward China.

Of the total, China's export to the US totaled 494.1 billion yuan, down 15.2 percent year-on-year, while China's import from the US reached 208.9 billion yuan, up 2.8 percent. China's trade surplus with the US has narrowed by 24.9 percent to 285 billion yuan during the period, China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) revealed.

While the US remains China's third largest trading partner, the proportion of the bilateral trade has declined to 11.4 percent of China's total foreign trade.

Behind the decline is Washington's adopting protectionist trade policies, recklessly sabotaging the normal economic and trade exchanges between the two sides, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Additionally, the US rolled out rounds of bail-outs during the COVID-19 pandemic in the previous years. With the government hand-outs expiring, consumers now don't have the same access to savings and discretionary spending as before, which will result a weaker demand for imports, Gao noted.

The US' elevated inflation could be another reason limiting imports since the US encountered persistently high consumer price index (CPI) last year, which inhibited imports, Gao said.

As the world's two largest economies, China and the US have the potential to expand economic and trading exchanges, experts noted.

However, if the US does not redress its protectionism, the declining trend of the bilateral trade's proportion in China's total trade will continue, Gao said.

As the latest example, the US Commerce Department added another 28 Chinese companies to its trade blacklist on Thursday.

Upholding a win-win and multilateralism principle, China has become the largest trading partner for over 120 countries and regions. Not only acting as a global manufacturing hub, it has also ramped up efforts to expand imports.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) remains the top trading partner for China, with two-way trade totaled 951.9 billion yuan, up 9.6 percent year-on-year and accounted 15.4 percent of China's foreign trade. The EU remains the second largest trading partner, with bilateral trade came in at 851.1 billion yuan, down 2.6 percent.

China's trade with economies participating the Belt and Road Initiative recorded 2.12 trillion yuan, up 10.1 percent.

Global Times