US$119,050,900,000 – Trump Fighting A Losing Battle As Trade Deficit With China Hit Record High In First 4 Months

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Jun 07 2018
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Donald Trump may sound super-tough as the U.S. positions itself for a trade war with China. However, if numbers are any indicator, the U.S. president appears to be fighting a losing battle against the Chinese. For the first 4 months of 2018, America continues to register huge trade deficit with its rival trading partner.


The U.S. trade deficit with China registered a record from January to April 2018 – hitting US$119 billion (US$119,050,900,000). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States exported US$42,291,500,000 in goods to China while importing a staggering US$161,342,400,000. In short, the U.S. bought about 3.8 times more goods from China.


The previous record for the highest trade deficit with China in the first four months of the year was in 2015. Back then, it hit US$115 billion (US$115,320,000,000). Based on the statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation has been registering trade deficit with China in the period of January-April throughout 1985 to 2018.

US Trade Deficit With China - 1990 to April 2018

The last time the U.S. had a trade surplus with China in any given month was in April 1986, when the U.S. ran a US$54,000,000 trade surplus with China. In 1985, the first year the U.S. Census Bureau collected such data, the U.S. already registered trade deficit with China within the first 4 months (Jan – Apr) amounting to US$240 million.


In comparison, this year’s US$119 billion trade deficit for the first 4-month is 496 times bigger than the one recorded 34 years ago in 1985. Last year (2017), the same period saw the U.S. ran a US$109 billion (US$109,120,000,000) trade deficit with China. For the whole year of 2017, the total trade deficit was US$375,576,400,000.


Here’re the top-10 products that the U.S. imported from China last year:

  • Cell phones & other household goods ($70,359,818,000)
  • Computers (US$45,515,206,000)
  • Telecommunications Equipment (US$33,490,521,000)
  • Computer Accessories ($31,648,577,000)
  • Toys, Games and Sporting Goods (US$26,751,412,000)
  • Apparel, Textiles, Non-wool or Cotton (US$24,137,388,000)
  • Furniture, Household Goods (US$20,669,126,000)
  • Parts & Accessories of Vehicles (US$14,406,417,000)
  • Household Appliances (US$14,138,581,000)
  • Electric Apparatus (US$14,080,858,000).

US Trade Deficit With China - April 2018

On the other hand, here’re the top-10 products that the U.S. exported to China last year:

  • Civilian Aircraft, Engines, Equipment & Parts (US$16,264,533,000)
  • Soybeans (US$12,258,835,000)
  • Passenger Cars, New & Used (US$10,211,268,000)
  • Semiconductors (US$6,076,509,000)
  • Industrial Machines, Other (US$5,447,303,000)
  • Crude Oil (US$4,400,921,000)
  • Plastic Materials (US$4,002,797,000)
  • Medicinal Equipment (US$3,453,343,000)
  • Pulpwood & Wood pulp (US$3,359,165,000)
  • Logs & Lumber (US$3,177,402,000)


That’s just the deficit with China. After Trump slapped European Union with tariffs on steel and aluminium, the trade war with E.U. is about to get interesting. From blue jeans to Harley Davidson motorbikes and whiskey, the E.U. said their hit-list of products targeting the U.S. will be ready in July.


The European Union originally drew up the list in March but pledged not trigger it unless President Donald Trump followed through on his threat to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminium. Still, the E.U. Commission needs to get the counter-tariff measure signed off by the bloc’s members. The Trump tariffs came into effect on June 1.

Trump Trade War With China - Chinese Guards of Honour


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