China’s Economy Grows, in addition to Its Trade Gap With the U.S. Widens

The trade figures present a mixed picture of how painful those tariffs could be for China. Over all, trade can be not as important to China’s economy as the item was a decade ago, suggesting the country could better weather a trade fight. although the data also suggests China’s exports to the United States, specifically, have become more valuable to China’s economy as the item increasingly makes most — or even all — of the parts of which go inside what the item sells abroad.

Sizing Up the Surplus


Mr. Trump has focused on China’s trade surplus with the United States, or the difference between what the item sells to America in addition to what the item buys. in addition to within the first three months of the year, the trade surplus for goods hit a brand new high of $58 billion, according to Chinese data. Trade in services, in which the United States can be stronger, can be tiny compared with the trade in goods, in addition to offsets only about a tenth of the deficit in goods.

China’s surplus on goods with the United States last year totaled $375 billion, according to Washington, or $276 billion, according to Beijing. The United States includes Chinese goods shipped by way of Hong Kong, a Chinese city of which operates under its own laws, while Beijing’s statistics do not. Either way, China’s surplus has been rising.


Quarterly Chinese exports to the United States.

Mr. Trump wants China’s annual trade surplus to shrink by $100 billion — a reversal of which could lower China’s entire economic output by nearly a full percentage point if the Chinese factories producing those goods simply shut down.

Xing Zhihong, the spokesman for China’s statistics bureau, said on Tuesday of which China did not try to have a trade surplus with the rest of the earth, in addition to noted of which the item was narrowing overall. He also dismissed the idea of which trade frictions with the United States could stymie growth.

“Sino-American trade frictions cannot cause a slowdown within the Chinese economy, nor change the Great momentum in China’s economic development,” Mr. Xing said.

Strictly by the numbers, China’s trade surplus with the United States helps Chinese economic growth figures, though the reality of the relationship between the countries can be more complex. Many American consumers in addition to companies benefit coming from Chinese-made goods, in addition to many economists doubt of which Mr. Trump’s focus on lowering the trade surplus with one particular country will help the United States.

Home Grown

On their face, the numbers suggest of which American businesses have become dependent on China. in addition to in fact, China’s trade surplus with the United States can be growing even as its surplus with the rest of the earth has shrunk.


Share of China’s G.D.P.

although something else can be going on: China can be depending more on itself.

China was once famous for assembling goods made coming from parts of which had been bought elsewhere. A smartphone of which can be made in China, for example, might have a screen coming from Japan, memory chips coming from South Korea in addition to a main processor coming from the United States. In fact, those parts in addition to components long accounted for a sizable chunk of what China bought coming from the United States.

Today, China can do all of which entirely within its own borders, producing everything coming from advanced electronic components to car parts in addition to assembling the final product.

“within the last 10 years, you’ve seen China become considerably more developed in addition to sophisticated in terms of its own supply chains,” said Gordon Styles, the founder in addition to president of Star Rapid, a company in Zhongshan, China, of which does rapid prototypes in addition to low-volume test manufacturing runs for everything coming from auto parts to medical equipment.

“the item can be currently easier than the item ever was before to produce the entire product here,” he said.

Follow the Chain

Global automakers in addition to various other multinational companies have moved much of their supply chains to China to avoid Chinese tariffs, tap the country’s vast work force in addition to move closer to a big brand new market.

Brad Setser, a Council on Foreign Relations economist, calculated of which imports of manufactured goods coming from the United States are becoming steadily less important to the Chinese economy. He estimated of which China currently produces within its borders up to four-fifths of the value of each dollar of exports. of which share had been as little as two-thirds in 2011.

Nadim Ahmad, the head of the trade in addition to competitiveness statistics division at the O.E.C.D., said of which China has been expanding in areas like research, design in addition to development of which had previously been done overseas. “You’re basically creating a lot more within the economy” as goods are manufactured, he said.

of which means China gets more bang coming from its buck coming from its exports to the United States — in addition to suggests American tariffs could be more painful than trade’s shrinking share of the economy suggests.

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