China-U.S. trade up 11.7% in H1, prompting urgent tariff removal

Photo taken on Jan. 10, 2022 shows the Qinzhou Port container terminal in Qinzhou, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Qinzhou is committed to becoming a center of China-ASEAN trade and cooperation and to be open to shipping to major ports around the world. Photo: CGV

Trade between China and the United States grew 11.7% in the first six months of 2022 to reach 2.47 trillion yuan ($367 billion), outpacing China’s trade growth with its two other major trading partners – the EU and ASEAN, according to data from China Customs released on Wednesday. .

The expansion of China-US trade despite the US government’s persistent efforts to suppress Chinese products and companies has further highlighted the failure of the trade war and the attempted decoupling of the United States, as well as the need for Washington to focus on improving bilateral cooperation amid a looming economic crisis in the United States, analysts noted.

In the first half of the year, Chinese exports to the United States jumped 14.8% to 1.88 trillion yuan despite persistent tariff hikes and other restrictions, while imports of American goods rose. edged up 2.6 percent to 586.6 billion yuan, according to data from the General Administration of Customs (GAC) on Wednesday.

The rise in Chinese exports to the United States was in line with expectations as U.S. consumer demand amid an economic recovery exceeded its supply chain capacity, analyst Tian Yun said on Wednesday. seasoned macroeconomics, noting that the impact of COVID -19 on the U.S. workforce and supply chains as well as poor U.S. domestic governance have increased demand for Chinese imports.

In June, China’s trade surplus with the United States widened 26% from a year earlier to $41.4 billion, according to Global Times calculations based on data of the GAC.

The continued expansion of the US deficit with China shows that the United States is wrong to use tariffs as a weapon to reduce its trade deficit, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday. Beijing social sciences. .

Electromechanical and audio-visual equipment, and related parts and accessories, was the most traded category between China and the United States in the first five months, according to data from China Customs. Detailed June figures have yet to be released.

In the first five months, China exported electromechanical equipment worth 635 billion yuan to the United States. Next came exports of textile products, which totaled 132 billion yuan.

China imported 101 billion yuan of electromechanical equipment from the United States. Next came oilseeds and animal feed, which totaled 68 billion yuan, and mining products, which reached 65 billion yuan.

The figures show that trade relations are highly complementary and the lingering impact of additional tariffs cannot prevent the growth of trade between the two countries, Gao said.

The surge in US-China trade comes as the United States faces the risk of recession and mounting inflation pressure. The U.S. consumer price index rose 9.1% in June from a year earlier, the fastest pace since 1981, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Wednesday.

The IMF on Tuesday lowered forecasts for U.S. GDP growth to 2.3% this year, citing inflation risks, from 2.9% forecast last month.

Growing inflationary pressure has reportedly prompted the US administration to consider easing some Trump-era tariffs on consumer goods from China for some time.

US President Joe Biden said on Sunday his administration was still discussing possible action on US tariffs on Chinese imports, after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said she expected a decision. “soon,” Bloomberg reported.

Washington’s frequent signals are aimed at telling Americans it’s tackling inflation, as well as sending a message to China that it wants talks and contacts to resolve the issue, officials said. experts.

Gao noted that the United States faces two options: raise interest rates at the risk of causing a recession or lower tariffs to fight inflation. “For the United States, the ideal way should be the removal of tariffs. If all additional tariffs are canceled, it should reduce the US consumer price index by 1 to 1.5 percentage points,” Gao said.

In a report by analysts at investment bank UBS, the apparel, home and sporting goods categories of the retail sector are the most likely to benefit from tariff reductions. UBS has estimated that retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams-Sonoma and Wayfair “likely” source at least 35% of their wares from China, either directly or indirectly.

The United States is leaning more towards non-strategic goods for tariff reduction such as daily necessities, but widespread tariff reductions are needed to reduce inflation at all levels, said Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Institute of Market Research at the China Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

“A decision on tariffs may be made in the near future ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, and China-U.S. overall trade this year is expected to exceed that of last year,” Ms. Bay.

Trade between China and the United States soared 28.7% to $755.6 billion in 2021, contributing 12% to China’s record $6 trillion foreign trade for the United States. year.

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