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The People's Republic of China

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U.S.-China Trade Facts

U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $710.4 billion in 2017. Exports were $187.5 billion; imports were $522.9 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $335.4 billion in 2017.

China is currently our largest goods trading partner with $635.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $129.9 billion; goods imports totaled $505.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $375.6 billion in 2017.

Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $75.0 billion in 2017. Services exports were $57.6 billion; services imports were $17.4 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $40.2 billion in 2017.

According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of Goods and Services to China supported an estimated 911,000 jobs in 2015 (latest data available) (601,000 supported by goods exports and 309,000 supported by services exports).

Exports

  • China was the United States' 3rd largest goods export market in 2017.
  • U.S. goods exports to China in 2017 were $129.9 billion, up 12.4% ($14.3 billion) from 2016 and up 106.4% from 2007. U.S. exports to China are up 577% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). U.S. exports to China account for 8.4% of overall U.S. exports in 2017.
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: aircraft ($16 billion), machinery ($13 billion), miscellaneous grain, seeds, fruit (soybeans) ($13 billion), vehicles ($13 billion), and electrical machinery ($12 billion).
  • U.S. total exports of agricultural products to China totaled $20 billion in 2017, our 2nd largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories include: soybeans ($12 billion), cotton ($978 million), hides & skins ($945 million), coarse grains (ex. corn) ($839 million), and pork & pork products ($662 million).
  • U.S. exports of services to China were an estimated $57.6 billion in 2017, 4.9% ($2.7 billion) more than 2016, and 339% greater than 2007 levels. It was up roughly 973% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). Leading services exports from the U.S. to China were in the travel, intellectual property (trademark, computer software), and transport sectors.

Imports

  • China was the United States' largest supplier of goods imports in 2017.
  • U.S. goods imports from China totaled $505.5 billion in 2017, up 9.3% ($42.9 billion) from 2016, and up 57.3% from 2007. U.S. imports from are up 394% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). U.S. imports from China account for 21.6% of overall U.S. imports in 2017.
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2017 were: electrical machinery ($147 billion), machinery ($110 billion), furniture and bedding ($32 billion), toys and sports equipment ($26 billion), and plastics ($16 billion).
  • U.S. total imports of agricultural products from China totaled $4.5 billion in 2017, our 4th largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: processed fruit & vegetables ($1.1 billion), fruit & vegetable juices ($320 million), snack foods ($204 million), fresh vegetables ($181 million), and spices ($159 million).
  • U.S. imports of services from China were an estimated $17.4 billion in 2017, 8.7% ($1.4 billion) more than 2016, and 47.6% greater than 2007 levels. It was up roughly 387% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). Leading services imports from China to the U.S. were in the travel, transport, and research and development sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $375.6 billion in 2017, a 8.2% increase ($28.6 billion) over 2016.
  • The United States has a services trade surplus of an estimated $40.2 billion with China in 2017, up 5.8% from 2016.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in China (stock) was $107.6 billion in 2017, a 10.6% increase from 2016. U.S. direct investment in China is led by manufacturing, wholesale trade, and finance and insurance.
  • China's FDI in the United States (stock) was $39.5 billion in 2017, down 2.3% from 2016. China's direct investment in the U.S. is led by manufacturing, real estate, and depository institutions.
  • Sales of services in China by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $55.2 billion in 2015 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority China-owned firms were $5.7 billion.