Tracking The Trade War: US Car Sales To China Down, Parts From China Up

A pair of charts by Brad Setser highlights Trump's difficulty in winning the trade war with China.

Trump says winning trade wars is easy.

Trade War Theory vs Practice

What's supposed to have been "easy" has turned out quite differently.

Record Monthly Deficit

Full Year Trade Imbalance Hits New Record

Please note the US trade deficit with China grows to a record.

  • China’s trade surplus with the U.S. — closely watched amid the tariff war between the two countries — grew 17 percent from a year ago to hit $351.76 billion in 2018. [Note this was originally posted as $323.23 billion]
  • Exports to the U.S. rose 11.3 percent year on year in 2018, while imports from the U.S. to China rose 0.7 percent over the same period.
  • The deficit that the U.S. has with China is likely even bigger than these figures indicate since China calculates the numbers using different methods, sometimes excluding goods that end up in the U.S. via other countries.

Despite a massive global slowdown in autos, auto parts imports keep rising. Note that US Auto Overcapacity is 10 Plants with 20,000 direct jobs on the line.

Amid talk of the greatest trade deal ever, President Trump will likely sign a deal with China by March. It won't solve much if anything.

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Dean Gilmore 3 months ago Member's comment

I don't know Mish Shedlock, I feel like this #Huawei thing has thrown a lot of uncertainty here. How do you feel that factors in?