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Sino-US Trade Imbalance and Its Impact on Employment: Analysis and Countermeasures(No.136, 2017)


By Long Guoqiang, DRC & Wang Lingli, Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China

Research report No.136, 2017 (Total 5211) 2017-10-20

Abstract: The imbalance of Sino-US bilateral trade is a fundamental issue affecting Sino-US economic and trade relations. The trade statistics made by the two sides are largely different, which will lead to different understanding of this issue. This paper puts forward three approaches on viewing properly the bilateral trade relations. First, we need to take into consideration the impact of the intermediary trade volume in Hong Kong. Second, we need to take account the international transfer value from the aspect of global value chain. Third, we need to take a broad view on both service trade and trade in goods relating to trade balance. Based on the data of balanced bilateral trade, the paper gives an analysis of the impact of Sino-US bilateral trade on employment in the United States. According to the estimation, we have come to the following conclusions. First, the US trade statistics have highly overestimated the imbalance of the added value of bilateral trade in goods; Second, goods and service exports to China and goods imports from China to the U.S. will bring job opportunities to the U.S., and the latter’s contribution is even remarkably larger than the former; Third, even if the Sino-US trade achieves a balanced development, new job opportunities created for the U.S. is still limited. Consequently, the impact of bilateral trade imbalance on US employment should not be overestimated. The paper also raises some policy options for addressing issues relating to Sino-US trade relations.

Key words: Sino-US trade, trade imbalance, employment