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The People's Republic of China

U.S.-China Trade Facts

Overview

  • In 2019, China’s GDP was an estimated $14.1 trillion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 6.1%; and the population was 1.4 billion. (Source: IMF)
  • U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019.
  • China is currently the United States’ 3rd largest goods trading partner with $558.1 billion in total (two-way) goods trade during 2019. Goods exports totaled $106.4 billion; goods imports totaled $451.7 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $345.2 billion in 2019.
  • Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in 2019. Services exports were $56.5 billion; services imports were $20.1 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $36.4 billion in 2019.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to China supported an estimated 911,000 jobs in 2015 (latest data available), with 601,000 jobs supported by goods exports and 309,000 jobs supported by services exports.

Exports

  • China was the United States' 3rd largest goods export market in 2019.
  • U.S. goods exports to China in 2019 were $106.4 billion, down 11.5% ($13.8 billion) from 2018 but up 53.2% from 2009. U.S. exports to China are up 455% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). U.S. exports to China accounted for 6% of overall U.S. exports in 2019.
  • The top export categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: electrical machinery ($14 billion); machinery ($13 billion); aircraft ($10 billion); optical and medical instruments ($9.7 billion); and vehicles ($9.1 billion).
  • U.S. exports of agricultural products to China totaled $14 billion in 2019, the United States’ 3rd largest agricultural export market. Leading domestic export categories included: soybeans ($8.0 billion); pork and pork products ($1.3 billion); cotton ($706 million); tree nuts ($606 million); and hides and skins ($412 million).
  • U.S. exports of services to China were an estimated $56.5 billion in 2019, 0.9% ($523 million) less than in 2018, but 231% greater than the 2009 level. They were up roughly 952% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). Leading services exports from the United States to China were in the travel, intellectual property (industrial processes, trademarks), and transport sectors.

Imports

  • China was the United States' largest supplier of goods imports in 2019.
  • U.S. goods imports from China totaled $451.7 billion in 2019, down 16.2% ($87.6 billion) from 2018, but up 52.4% from 2009. U.S. goods imports from China are up 342% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). U.S. goods imports from China account for 18.1% of overall U.S. goods imports in 2019.
  • The top import categories (2-digit HS) in 2019 were: electrical machinery ($125 billion); machinery ($92 billion); furniture and bedding ($27 billion); toys and sports equipment ($25 billion); and plastics ($18 billion).
  • U.S. imports of agricultural products from China totaled $3.6 billion in 2019, making China the United States’ 6th largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories included: processed fruit and vegetables ($787 million); snack foods ($172 million); spices ($170 million); fresh vegetables ($136 million); and tea, including herbal tea ($131 million).
  • U.S. imports of services from China were an estimated $20.1 billion in 2019, 5.4% ($1.0 billion) more than in 2018, and 111% greater than the 2009 level. It was up roughly 463% from 2001 (pre-WTO accession). Leading services imports from China to the United States were in the transport, travel, and research and development sectors.

Trade Balance

  • The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $345.0 billion in 2019, a 17.6% decrease ($73.7 billion) from 2018.
  • The United States had a services trade surplus of an estimated $36 billion with China in 2019, down 4.1% from 2018.

Investment

  • U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in China (stock) was $116.2 billion in 2019, a 6.3% increase from 2018. U.S. FDI in China is led by manufacturing, wholesale trade, and finance and insurance.
  • China's FDI in the United States (stock) was $37.7 billion in 2019, up 12.3% from 2018. China's FDI in the U.S. is led by wholesale trade, manufacturing, and depository institutions.
  • Sales of services in China by majority U.S.-owned affiliates were $54.9 billion in 2017 (latest data available), while sales of services in the United States by majority China-owned firms were $18.0 billion.