US Trade Deficit With China Continues to Rise
In the third quarter of 2017, the US trade deficit in goods with China reached $103.1 billion—a 6.7 percent increase over the same period in 2016—due to increased imports, which grew 8.1 percent year-on-year to reach $134.9 billion. US exports to China grew robustly to $31.8 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year, according to the most recent report from the US-China Economic Security Commission, a US government agency.
US exports of all top five product categories to China increased in the third quarter of 2017. The United States’ largest export to China, transportation equipment, grew 19.3 percent year-on-year to $8.7 billion. US agricultural exports, which make up 8.1 percent of US exports to China, also experienced robust growth, increasing 16.8 percent compared to the third quarter of 2016. US exports of chemicals and machinery rose 6.9 percent and 7.5 percent year-on-year, respectively.
In the third quarter of 2017, US imports of four out the top five product categories from China saw moderate growth. Imports of Chinese computer and electronic products and machinery rose 13.2 percent and 17.7 percent year-on-year, respectively; the two product categories account for a combined 41.9 percent of US imports from China. US imports of apparel and accessories from China fell 4.1 percent year-on-year.
The US trade deficit with China in advanced technology products (ATP) reached almost $92 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, a 36 percent increase from the same period in 2016. The main contributor to the deficit was imports of information and communications technology (ICT) products, which rose 15.4 percent year-on-year to $39.8 billion in the third quarter of 2017. Chinese ICT products remain the United States’ largest ATP import from China, accounting for about 90 percent of total ATP imports in the third quarter of 2017. The largest US ATP export to China, aerospace products, grew 20.5 percent year-on-year to $5.5 billion.