US exports to China fell 7% last year due to trade tensions

The value of US goods exports to China in 2018 reached 118 billion US dollars, down 7 percent from a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by the US-China Business Council.

"Cities and states across the United States, as well as companies that pay taxes and hire people there, continue to suffer, particularly from the loss of sales due to punitive tariffs," said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.

"Since these data were collected in 2018, the results today have been worse given the imposition of additional rounds of tariffs since January, with other tariffs expected later," the statement said.

The report showed that 265 congressional districts saw a decline in the volume of goods exports in 2018 compared to 2017, and 61 other regions experienced export growth of less than $ 10 million in the same period.

Areas dependent on agricultural exports have seen "meager" sales to China as a result of persistent and deep trade disputes between the world's two largest economies. The report said the Midwest and plains exporting large amounts of soybeans and other agricultural products were "severely affected".

Despite the decline, China remains the third largest export market for US goods after Canada and Mexico. About 1.1 million jobs in the United States depend on exports to China, according to the report.

"Most Americans are unaware of the interdependence of the two economies," Allen said. "We read about price increases for many consumer goods, but we often do not realize that falling demand can eliminate well-paid local jobs."

The US-China Business Council continues to call on the two countries to return to the negotiating table to address structural issues in bilateral trade relations and lift punitive tariffs, the statement said.


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