What’s the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

The size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China has been and continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations. President Trump and some Members of Congress view the deficit as a sign of unfair economic policies in China. The Trump Administration has reportedly asked China to develop a plan to reduce the bilateral trade deficit by $100 billion. Legislation has been introduced in the 115th Congress, including the Balanced Trade Act of 2017 (H.R. 2766) and the Trade Enforcement and Trade Deficit Reduction Act (H.R. 2734), that would require the Trump Administration to take steps to reduce substantial bilateral trade deficits.

There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People’s Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2017 bilateral merchandise trade deficit with China was $375.3 billion. According to China, its trade surplus with the United States was $275.8 billion—a $99.5 billion difference.

This report examines the differences in the trade data from the two nations in two ways. First, it compares the trade figures using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) to discern any patterns in the discrepancies between the U.S. and Chinese data. This comparison reveals that nearly 90% of the difference in the value of China’s exports to the United States in 2016 was attributable to five types of goods. Those five types of goods, in order of the size of the discrepancy, were electrical machinery, machinery, toys and sporting goods, footwear, and optical and medical equipment.

The second approach to examining the differing trade data involves a review of the existing literature on the technical and non-technical sources of the trade data discrepancies. The literature reveals that the leading sources of the discrepancies are differences in the list value of shipments when they leave China and when they enter the United States, and differing attributions of origin and destination of Chinese exports that are transshipped through a third location (such as Hong Kong) before arriving in the United States.

In light of the differences in the official bilateral merchandise trade data, the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) established a statistical working group in 2004. The working group has released two reconciliation studies (in 2009 and 2012) to identify the causes of the statistical discrepancies. The Working Group stated that the adjustments contained in the two studies are not meant to imply errors in the official statistics of either country.

This report is updated annually, after the release of official trade data by China and the United States.

What's the Difference?—Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data

Updated April 23, 2018 (RS22640)
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Summary

The size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China has been and continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations. President Trump and some Members of Congress view the deficit as a sign of unfair economic policies in China. The Trump Administration has reportedly asked China to develop a plan to reduce the bilateral trade deficit by $100 billion. Legislation has been introduced in the 115th Congress, including the Balanced Trade Act of 2017 (H.R. 2766) and the Trade Enforcement and Trade Deficit Reduction Act (H.R. 2734), that would require the Trump Administration to take steps to reduce substantial bilateral trade deficits.

There is a large and growing difference between the official trade statistics released by the United States and the People's Republic of China. According to the United States, the 2017 bilateral merchandise trade deficit with China was $375.3 billion. According to China, its trade surplus with the United States was $275.8 billion—a $99.5 billion difference.

This report examines the differences in the trade data from the two nations in two ways. First, it compares the trade figures using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) to discern any patterns in the discrepancies between the U.S. and Chinese data. This comparison reveals that nearly 90% of the difference in the value of China's exports to the United States in 2016 was attributable to five types of goods. Those five types of goods, in order of the size of the discrepancy, were electrical machinery, machinery, toys and sporting goods, footwear, and optical and medical equipment.

The second approach to examining the differing trade data involves a review of the existing literature on the technical and non-technical sources of the trade data discrepancies. The literature reveals that the leading sources of the discrepancies are differences in the list value of shipments when they leave China and when they enter the United States, and differing attributions of origin and destination of Chinese exports that are transshipped through a third location (such as Hong Kong) before arriving in the United States.

In light of the differences in the official bilateral merchandise trade data, the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) established a statistical working group in 2004. The working group has released two reconciliation studies (in 2009 and 2012) to identify the causes of the statistical discrepancies. The Working Group stated that the adjustments contained in the two studies are not meant to imply errors in the official statistics of either country.

This report is updated annually, after the release of official trade data by China and the United States.


Introduction

The U.S. merchandise trade deficit with the People's Republic of China (China) remains a major source of bilateral tension.1 Some Members of Congress and other U.S. government officials often point to the bilateral trade imbalance as evidence that China is not competing fairly in the global market.2 On March 7, 2018, President Donald Trump tweeted that his administration had asked China "to develop a plan for year of a One Billion Dollar [sic] reduction in their massive Trade Deficit [sic] with the United States."3 Administration officials reportedly clarified that the requested trade deficit reduction was actually $100 billion.4

On March 31, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13786, which states:

Within 90 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce and the United States Trade Representative (USTR), in consultation with the Secretaries of State, the Treasury, Defense, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, and the heads of any other executive departments or agencies with relevant expertise, as determined by the Secretary of Commerce and the USTR, shall prepare and submit to the President an Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits (Report).5

President Trump also issued Executive Order 13796, "Addressing Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses," on April 29, 2017, which, among other things, requires the Secretary of Commerce and the USTR to "conduct comprehensive performance reviews" of "all trade relations with countries governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization with which the United States does not have free trade agreements but with which the United States runs significant trade deficits in goods."6 China is one such country.

Debate over this trade deficit is hampered by disagreement between the two countries on how large the deficit actually is. According to official U.S. figures, China has surpassed Canada as the largest supplier of U.S. imports, running up a bilateral merchandise trade surplus in 2017 of $375.3 billion. However, according to official Chinese figures, China's trade surplus with the United States in 2017 was $275.8 billion—$99.5 billion less than the U.S. figure (see Table 1).

U.S. trade deficits also have been an issue in proposed legislation addressing trade relations with nations with which the United States has a sizable trade deficit, such as China. The Balanced Trade Act of 2017 (H.R. 2766), for example, would require the President to "take the necessary steps to create a trading relationship with the country that would eliminate or substantially reduce that trade deficit" if the United States has a trade deficit of $10 billion or more for three consecutive calendar years. The trade deficit referred to in the act is in goods and services. The Trade Enforcement and Trade Deficit Reduction Act (H.R. 2734) would require the Secretary of Commerce to "identify each country from which the value of goods and services imported into the United States exceeds twice the value of goods and services that are products of the United States that are exported from the United States to that country." The act would also require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to bar the importation of products from any country that had been identified by the Secretary of Commerce for six consecutive months.

Comparison of U.S. and Chinese Merchandise Trade Data

Table 1 lists the official trade statistics from the United States and China for the years 2001 to 2017, using official trade data.7 From the U.S. perspective, its bilateral trade deficit with China more than quadrupled in value over the last 15 years, from just over $83 billion in 2001 to over $375 billion in 2017. However, from the Chinese view, its bilateral trade surplus with the United States increased nearly ten-fold, from about $28 billion in 2001 to nearly $276 billion in 2017.

Table 1. U.S. and Chinese Merchandise Trade Figures, 2001-2017

(billions of dollars)

 

U.S. Trade Figures

Chinese Trade Figures

Year

Exports to China
(F.A.S.)

Imports from
China
(C.V.)

Trade Balance

Exports to
United States
(F.O.B.)

Imports from
United States
(C.I.F.)

Trade Balance

2001

19.396

102.570

-83.174

54.277

26.204

28.073

2002

22.317

125.498

-103.181

69.959

27.228

42.731

2003

28.646

152.974

-124.328

92.510

33.883

58.627

2004

34.833

197.456

-162.623

124.973

44.653

80.320

2005

41.874

244.699

-202.825

162.939

48.735

114.204

2006

54.813

289.246

-234.433

203.516

59.222

144.294

2007

64.313

322.975

-258.662

232.761

69.861

162.900

2008

71.346

339.581

-268.235

252.327

81.486

170.841

2009

70.636

297.872

-227.236

220.706

77.433

143.273

2010

93.059

366.126

-273.067

283.184

101.310

181.873

2011

105.445

400.632

-295.187

324.300

118.121

206.180

2012

111.855

426.792

-314.937

351.884

127.755

224.129

2013

122.827

441.621

-318.794

368.349

145.926

222.423

2014

124.747

467.940

-343.193

396.082

159.036

237.046

2015

116.817

484.371

-367.554

409.648

148.736

260.912

2016

115.775

462.813

-347.038

388.617

132.394

256.223

2017

130.370

505.597

-375.227

429.758

153.943

275.815

Source: China's General Administration of Customs, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Note: China values its exports using the "free on board," or F.O.B. method and its imports using the "cost, insurance, and freight," or C.I.F. method. The United States values its exports using the "free alongside," or F.A.S. method and its imports using the "Customs value" (C.V.) method.

Table 1 reveals that most of the discrepancy between the trade data from the two nations stems from significantly different figures for China's exports to the United States. While the difference between the U.S. and Chinese figures for U.S. exports to China was generally less than $10 billion until 2011, China's figures for its exports to the United States differed by $48.3 billion in 2001 and $75.8 billion in 2017. However, the discrepancy between U.S. export and Chinese import figures for bilateral trade has been rising in recent years.

Delving into the Data: Examining HS Code

The most widely used international system for classifying traded goods is the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, commonly referred to as the Harmonized System or simply HS Code. Every product traded is classified into a 10-digit code. The first two digits of the product's code correspond to one of the 98 HS "chapters," that classify all goods in general categories. The U.S. International Trade Commission maintains the U.S. version of the HS Code, officially called the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States," or HTS. Since both the United States and China use the same HS chapters, it is possible to compare the trade data at this level.

Table 2 lists in rank order the top five HS chapters where the value of U.S. imports from China exceeds the value of Chinese exports to the United States for 2017. The top five HS chapters—footwear (64), machinery (84), electrical machinery (85), optical and medical instruments (90), and toys and sporting goods (95)—account for more than 93% of the difference between the U.S. and Chinese figures for U.S. imports from China (or Chinese exports to the United States).

All five of these chapters also ranked high according to both countries in terms of their absolute value of trade. With the exception of optical and medical equipment, the other four were among the top five ranked chapters in terms of the value of imports from China, according to the United States, and accounted for 61.0% of the total value of imports in 2017. Three of the sources of discrepancies—electrical machinery, machinery, and toys and sporting goods—were among the top five sources of exports to the United States, according to China.

Table 2. Top Five Discrepancies for U.S. Imports from China, 2017

(billions of dollars)

HS Chapter

U.S. Imports
from China
(U.S. data, using C.V.)

China's Exports
to U.S.
(China data, using F.O.B.)

Difference

Electrical Machinery (85)

146.997

107.120

39.878

Machinery (84)

109.629

91.429

18.200

Toys and Sporting Goods (95)

25.524

19.042

6.482

Optical and Medical Equipment (90)

11.958

9.660

2.298

Footwear (64)

14.255

12.037

2.219

Source: Global Trade Atlas, U.S. International Trade Commission.

In addition to those chapters for which the U.S. figure exceeded the Chinese figure in 2017, the Chinese export value for knit apparel (61) and woven apparel (62) was greater than the corresponding U.S. import value by $1.719 billion and $1.093 billion respectively.

On the other side of the trade equation, there were six chapters where China's imports exceeded U.S. exports by more than $1 billion, and two chapters—mineral fuel and oil (27) and aircraft and spacecraft (88)—where U.S. exports exceeded Chinese imports by more than $1 billion. China's officially reported imports from the United States of miscellaneous grains (12), plastic (39); machinery (84); electrical machinery (85); non-railway vehicles (87); and optical and medical equipment ( 90) were more than $1 billion greater than the official U.S. exports to China.

On both sides of the trade balance equation, two of the greatest differences in the official trade statistics of the two nations occurred in the same HS chapters—machinery (84) and electrical machinery (85). The discrepancies between the official trade statistics for these two types of goods have been consistently large for flows in both directions since 2001, indicating a systemic difference in the evaluation of the bilateral trade of these goods.

Explaining the Differences: Literature Summary

The question as to why China's official statistics (on trade flows) are routinely much lower in value than the official U.S. trade statistics has been and continues to be the subject of analysis by scholars, government officials, and other interested parties. The following is a short review of some of the key explanations provided in this literature, categorized into "technical" and "non-technical" explanations. "Technical" explanations refer to procedural or administrative causes for the discrepancies; "non-technical" explanations include causes arising from non-procedural or non-administrative sources.

Technical Explanations

Official Definitions of Exports and Imports

In its official statistics, China evaluates exports using the more commonly used "free on board" (F.O.B.) terms,8 and evaluates imports using "cost, insurance, and freight" (C.I.F.) terms.9 The United States, however, reports its exports using "free alongside" (F.A.S.) terms10 and values imports using a customs definition.11 As a result, official U.S. trade data place a lower value on both U.S. exports to China and imports from China than the official Chinese data. In addition, direct comparisons of the official U.S. and Chinese trade balances reported in the media are potentially misleading, because the goods trades are being evaluated using different methods. For more accurate direct comparisons, the trade data for both nations should be evaluated using the same terms. The use of F.O.B. for exports and C.I.F. for imports is a common, but not universal, international practice.12

Definition of Territory

The United States includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in its trade data; China does not. China treats Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as separate customs territories. According to most studies, this is a comparatively minor source of difference in the trade figures.

Timing

Because of the distance between China and the United States, it takes time between the export of the goods from China and their import in the United States. Goods in transit at the end of the year are counted as exports by China, but not as imports by the United States. However, the lag between shipments occurs at the beginning and the end of the year, thus minimizing the effect of timing on the overall trade balance difference.

Declaration of Country of Origin

The current practice of U.S. Customs is to rely on the declaration of the importer to determine the country of origin. Some analysts believe that importers are misidentifying a significant amount of imports as Chinese.

Exchange Rates

Because China's currency, the renminbi (RMB), is allowed to fluctuate within a small range, the exchange rate between the renminbi and the U.S. dollar changes over time.13 The value of a shipment may change between the date it leaves China and the date it arrives in the United States due to changes in the exchange rate. Although the renminbi has appreciated against the U.S. dollar over the last decade,14 exchange rate changes are not considered a major factor in the discrepancy in the trade figures.

Non-Technical Explanations

Value Differences in Direct Trade

According to two joint China-U.S. studies (see "Joint China-U.S. Studies of Discrepancies" below), about half of the merchandise trade discrepancy between U.S. imports from China and Chinese exports to the United States—or eastbound trade—is attributable to changes in the values of the export price in China and the import value in the United States for goods shipped directly between the two countries. Part of the difference may be caused by mid-shipment transfers in ownership resulting in the new owner adding a markup in the price. Another possible explanation is intentional under-invoicing of exports (see below).

Under-Invoicing

Some analysts believe that Chinese importers may intentionally under-value imports from the United States to lower the import tariff due on the shipment. In addition, some analysts believe that Chinese exporters may intentionally under-value exports to the United States to maximize their net proceeds overseas for various tax and regulatory reasons. More recently, bilateral trade figures may have been distorted by "phantom goods" shipments from China to the United States (and other locations) used to disguise attempts to move financial capital offshore.15 Due to the "hidden nature" of under-invoicing, it is difficult to assess how much, if at all, this may be contributing to the differences in the trade data.

Intermediation

Although estimates vary, many analysts agree that a large portion of China's exports arrive in the United States via a third party, Hong Kong being the most commonly identified location.16 The intermediation of shipments raises two sources of discrepancies. First, the exporter from China may not know that the goods eventually will be shipped to the United States, and may therefore list the third party (e.g., Hong Kong) as its destination, but U.S. Customs may list the source of shipment as being China, based on U.S. laws and regulations. Second, the value of the shipment may change—with or without any actual change in the goods—between its arrival in and departure from the third location. The joint China-U.S. study of discrepancies in merchandise trade statistics determined that value differences account for about half of the differences between Chinese and U.S. trade statistics.

Joint China-U.S. Studies of Discrepancies

In April 2004, the 15th JCCT established a statistical working group, with representatives of China's Ministry of Commerce and General Administration of Customs, and the U.S. Department of Commerce and Office of the USTR. The initial focus of the working group was to examine the "unusually large and growing statistical discrepancies in the bilateral merchandise trade data officially published by [the] two countries."17 The Working Group subsequently decided to conduct a reconciliation study to determine the causes of the discrepancies. However, the Working Group stated that the results of the study were not intended to imply errors in either nation's statistical systems and/or methods of calculating official merchandise trade data.

Under the auspices of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), China's Ministry of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Commerce and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) have conducted two studies to determine the causes of the statistical discrepancies in the official merchandise trade data reported by both nations. The first report was released in October 2009; the second in December 2012.

The main conclusions of the two studies are largely the same. The greatest discrepancy is in the "eastbound trade" data, which accounts for 80%-90% of the overall difference in annual trade balance. Roughly half of the "eastbound trade" data discrepancy can be attributed to goods that "leave China, enter the commerce of intermediate countries or regions, and then [are] re-exported to the United States."18

Implications for Congress

The release of the official U.S. annual trade figures has been frequently followed by expressions of concern about the size of U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China. According to official U.S. trade figures, the bilateral trade deficit with China in 2017 was more than five times the size of the next largest bilateral trade deficit (Mexico, $71.1 billion) and greater than the sum of the next eight largest bilateral trade deficits.19

China has not accepted the "accuracy" of the official U.S. figure for the Sino-U.S. trade balance for at least two decades. A 1997 White Paper issued by China's State Council, "On Sino-US Trade Balance," states, "Statistics and analyses prove it true that Sino-US trade has been in favour of China in recent years, but it is obvious that the size of the US deficit has been largely exaggerated by the US side."20 In 2007, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said, "imbalances in China-U.S. trade are an objective fact, but this is also related to the two sides' different statistical methods."21

Also, when considering means or actions designed to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China, it is useful to know which goods are the main sources of discrepancies between Chinese and U.S. trade figures, and how important they are in the overall trade flow between the two nations, so that "trade remedies" may be better targeted at the perceived problem. According to this report, the main problems appear to be in the trade figures for electrical machinery, machinery, and toys and sporting goods.

For those causes of the differences resulting from data compilation—such as misidentification of value or country of origin of imports—Congress may choose through oversight or other means to encourage the responsible U.S. agency to examine and adjust its procedures for compiling trade data. In addition, Congress may decide to press or otherwise encourage China's customs services to conduct a similar review of its trade compilation procedures. In other cases, more detailed analysis of the trade data may be helpful in persuading China to amend or alter its laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to the import or export of goods to the United States.

Selected Bibliography on the Differences Between U.S. and Chinese Bilateral Trade Figures

"Accounting for Discrepancies in Bilateral Trade: The Case of China, Hong Kong, and the United States," by Michael J. Ferrantino and Zhi Wang, China Economic Review, vol. 19 (2008), pp. 502-520.

Adjusted Estimates of United States-China Bilateral Trade Balances—An Update. K.C. Fung, Lawrence J. Lau and Yangyan Xiong. June 2006. Stanford Center for International Development, Working Paper No. 278.

Methodology of U.S.-China-Hong Kong Triangular Merchandise Trade Statistic Reconciliation. Alexander Hammer, Lin Jones, and Zhi Wang. August 2013. Office of Economics Research Note, U.S. International Trade Commission, No. RN-2013-08A.

Report on the Statistical Discrepancy of Merchandise Trade Between the United States and China, Report by the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Statistical Working Group, October 2009.

The Second Phase Report on the Statistical Discrepancy of Merchandise Trade between the United States and China, Report by the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade Statistical Working Group, December 2012.

Statistical Differences in Sino-US Trade Balance. February 12, 2007. China Online. http://chinaculture.about.com/library/china/whitepaper/blstrade2.htm

The U.S.-China Bilateral Trade Balance: Its Size and Determinants. Robert C. Feenstra, Wen Hai, Wing T. Woo, and Shunli Yao. May 1998. Paper presented at the UNDP-HIID Conference on China's Integration in the Global Economy, January 17, 1998.

The U.S.-China Trade Imbalance: How Big Is It Really? Sarah Y. Tong. March 2005. China: An International Journal. Volume 3, No. 1, pp. 131-154.

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Specialist in Asian Affairs ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

Other trade issues also contribute to this bilateral tension. For more about U.S. trade relations with China in general, see CRS Report RL33536, China-U.S. Trade Issues.

2.

Both China and the United States have substantial trade surpluses with some trading partners and trade deficits with other trading partners. Also, the phenomenon of significant difference in the trade figures between two trading partners is not uncommon. The size of the differential between China and the United States is particularly large.

3.

Aubree Eliza Weaver, "Trump Calls for $1B Reduction in U.S.-China Trade Deficit," Politico, March 7, 2018.

4.

Lingling Wei, "U.S. Asks China for Plan to Reduce Trade Deficit by $100 Billion," Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2018.

5.

Office of the President, "Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits," 82 Federal Register 16721, March 31, 2017. As of mid-April 2018, the required report has not been submitted to the President.

6.

Executive Office of the President, "Addressing Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses," 82 Federal Register 20819, April 29, 2017.

7.

China values its exports using the "free on board," or F.O.B. method and its imports using the "cost, insurance, and freight," or C.I.F. method. The United States values its exports using the "free along side," or F.A.S. method and its imports using the "Customs value" method. The implications of the different evaluation methods are discussed later in the report.

8.

"Free on board" includes the cost of getting the goods to port and loading them onto the ship; sometimes also referred to as "freight on board."

9.

The C.I.F. definition adds the cost of insurance and shipping (freight) to the value of the imported goods.

10.

Unlike F.O.B., F.A.S. does not include the costs of clearing the goods for export and loading the goods. As a result, the FAS value of a shipment is less than its FOB value.

11.

The customs definition only includes the actual cost of the goods; it does not include the cost of insurance and freight. As a result the customs value of a shipment is less than its C.I.F. value. The U.S. Census Bureau does release import data using the C.I.F. definition, but like the Bureau of Economic Analysis, reports exports using the F.A.S. definition.

12.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Statistics Division, for example, recommends this practice. See "International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions," paragraph 116 (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/publication/SeriesM/SeriesM_52rev2E.pdf). Several countries, however, do not follow this recommendation, according to the United Nations International Trade Statistics Knowledgebase (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/tradekb/Knowledgebase/Trade-valuation).

13.

Since June 2010, China has maintained what it calls a "managed floating exchange rate regime" that allows its currency to fluctuate within a restricted range on a daily basis. For a more detailed discussion of China's exchange rate policy, see CRS Report RS21625, China's Currency Policy: An Analysis of the Economic Issues, by [author name scrubbed] and [author name scrubbed].

14.

The renminbi gradually appreciated against the U.S. dollar from January 2007 to August 2015. It has gradually depreciated since then, but remains 13.3% stronger as of March 31, 2017, than it was on January 4, 2007. For more information on the value of the renminbi relative to the U.S. dollar, see CRS Report RS22860, East Asia's Foreign Exchange Rate Policies, by [author name scrubbed].

15.

Enda Curran, "Phantom Goods Disguise Billions in China Illicit Money Flows," Bloomberg, March 8, 2016.

16.

In a 2006 study, Fung, Lau and Xiong reduced the difference between the U.S. and Chinese trade deficit for 2005 from $87.4 billion to $26.5 billion by adjusting the trade data for Hong Kong re-exports. In a 2005 study, Tong estimated that adjustments for re-exports resulted in a $22 billion reduction in the trade balance difference for 2003. In an August 2013 study, Hammer, Jones, and Wang calculated that intermediation by third countries other than Hong Kong accounted for much of the remaining differences between Chinese and U.S. trade statistics after adjustments were made for valuation systems. See selected bibliography at end of report for complete citations of these studies.

17.

Report of the Statistical Discrepancy of Merchandise Trade Between the United States and China, Hangzhou, China, October 2009.

18.

Ibid.

19.

The next eight largest bilateral trade deficits in 2017, in order, were Mexico—$71.1 billion; Japan—$68.8 billion; Germany—$64.3 billion; Vietnam—$38.3 billion; Ireland—$38.1 billion; Italy—$31.6 billion; Malaysia—$24.6 billion; and India—$22.9 billion.

20.

Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, On Sino-US Trade Balance, March 1997, http://www.chinaembassy.lt/eng/zt/zfbps/t125247.htm.

21.

Washington Trade Daily, February 16, 2007.