Mar 08, 2019 06:18 PM

Chart of the Day: China-U.S. Goods Trade Gap Swells in Face of Tariffs

China’s trade surplus in goods with the U.S. hit a record high of $419.2 billion in 2018, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s prediction that tariffs would curb his nation’s imports from China.

The surplus was up 11.6% from a previous high of $375.5 billion in 2017, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.


In October 2018, net exports of Chinese goods to the U.S. increased 7.1% month-on-month to $43.1 billion — a record high — as domestic traders rushed to sell goods to avoid further tariffs after the Trump administration placed additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China at the end of September. In November and December the figure fell to $37.9 billion and $36.8 billion respectively, but nonetheless represented increases of 7.1% and 19.5% year-on-year, according to Caixin calculations based on U.S. Department of Commerce data.

Meanwhile the U.S. goods trade gap with the rest of the world grew to a record high of $879 billion in 2018, while the total trade gap — which also includes services — surged to $621 billion. China remains the largest exporter to U.S.

Contact reporter Gao Baiyu (

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