While having a look at the latest trade numbers of the United States-China, one wonders found how the deal announced last week might lead to a suitable balance of mutual trade accounts. The surplus of China on its trade of United States’ goods in the first ten months of 2019 was about $294.5 billion. In addition, it amounted to around forty-percent of the overall trade gap of America. During the same duration, Beijing dropped the exports of the United States to China by almost 14.5% to about $87.6 billion. Whereas, sales of Chinese goods to the United States were over four times greater at 4383.1 billion.
Instead, reports specify that China assured to increase – during the next two years – its purchases of the United States goods along with services by about $200 billion. If Beijing is offering all that, its exports to the United States will cut fifty percent from their present annual rate of around $462.4 billion to reach an expressive narrowing of the United States trade deficit with China.
How Probably is that?
The bitter truth is that the United States will continue to run huge technology and wealth transfers to China-backed by U.S. rising net foreign debt that reveals as net foreign assets on the books of China. While other major issues – such as protection of intellectual property, illegal industry subsidies, exchange-rate management, and forced technology transfers, appeared as declaratory statements else than obvious defined legal arguments. Their mechanism of enforcement takes the shape of two-sided talks at technical levels that might intensify to main levels in case of serious disagreements.
It is clear that political convenience took priority over an accord to close the trade gap of the United States with China as a matter of the U.S. national security. That openly becomes obvious from official statements. Washington is stressing the promise of China to increase farm purchases along with other U.S. products. Though reports of likely Chinese imports of $200 billion from the United States during the following two years would still leave a huge trade deficit of America. On the other side, China is not citing this type of promise.
Beijing Finalized a Trade Agreement
The state media of China is mentioning that Beijing finalized a trade deal based on the principle of mutual respect and equality and that the growth of the markets of China will proceed to increase goods and services import from abroad “including the U.S. under the rules of WTO along with the business principles and market rules.” All that sounds as a settlement instead of a reliable end to the trade dispute.
China would do better to understand that greater and systematic differences in its United States trade can’t continue, regardless of who wins the 2020 presidential election of the United States. Those inequalities are an incitement for a country experiencing a rising public debt of over $23 trillion, abruptly worsening current budget conditions, and a tragic net foreign investment position of around -$10.56 trillion. It should not be tough for the strategists of Beijing to understand their United States trade issue is the main barrier to any expressive improvement in the two nations’ extremely troubled relations.
Reaction of Investors just after Trade Deal Phase one
For China, it should very simple: acquire more, much more from the United States, or slash quickly and fundamentally expensively huge sales to the United States. Why Beijing didn’t move in that direction quickly enough to avoid a serious decline of its ties with the U.S. is part of geopolitical calculus China may want to reconsider. Investors should closely observe trade numbers for consistent signs of the actual value of recent week’s agreement. In the meantime, Washington will continue to admire its successes in an election year, even if the trade deficits of the U.S. with China will remain too big to ignore.
Trade disputes will grind on, and so will other security and political issues the United States will trail in its growing strategic competition with China. Any type of silver lining for fiscal markets.