Economic snapshot | Trade and Globalization

Runaway trade

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A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for May 24, 2000

Runaway Trade
The U.S. has a massive trade deficit with China that reflects the most unbalanced relationship in the history of U.S. trade. In 1999, the U.S. imported approximately $81 billion in goods from China, while exports totaled only $13 billion — an unprecedented six-to-one ratio of imports to exports. According to the U.S. government’s most definitive economic analysis of the China-WTO deal, conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), China’s accession to the WTO would increase U.S. exports to China by 10.1%, while U.S. imports from China would grow by only 6.9%. If U.S.-China trade continues to grow at these rates in the future, then the deficit will grow until reaching a peak of $649 billion in 2048, and it would not fall below current levels until 2060, more than 60 years after the completion of the China-WTO agreement.

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