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Sino-US Bilateral Trade in Services (No.175, 2018)


By Chen Hongna, Research Team on “New Situation of Sino-US Economic and Trade Relations and China’s Countermeasures”, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, DRC

Research Report, No.175, 2018 (Total 5450) 2018-10-19

Abstract: The importance of service trade in Sino-US bilateral economic and trade exchanges lies not only in promoting complementary advantages between the two countries and improving the efficiency of resource allocation, but also in promoting the optimization and upgrading of their respective economic structures and the better development of bilateral relations. In recent years, China and the United States have made positive progress in bilateral trade in services, but some major problems remain to be addressed, which find expression in the following aspects. The proportion of trade in services in total bilateral trade is low; the proportion of commercial presence in the United States’ exports of services to China is not high; trade imbalances continue to expand; and the advantages of the two countries have not been brought into full play. The existence of these problems, in addition to the universality caused by the particularity of service, comes from the periodic obstacles caused by the asynchronous development level between the two countries. Among them, policy and legal obstacles are the most important factors, and the narrowing of the Sino-US technology gap between the two sides might lead to enforced confrontation, and make these obstacles become hard to be removed. Generally speaking, to promote Sino-US bilateral service trade cooperation, we need to take diversified approaches including unilateral, bilateral and multilateral measures.

Key words: Sino-US trade in services, opening up, all-round cooperation