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China trade deal progressing slowly

We now have trade numbers for July 2020, and the U.S. trade deal with China is not meeting expectations.

The United States Census Bureau has released data regarding United States trade with China through July 2020. The Peterson Institute for International Economics has analyzed this data.

According to the Peterson analysis, China is not on pace to meet the terms of the deal which is the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic Of China: Phase One, which went into effect on February 14, 2020. For all products, China is purchasing U.S. products at a rate slightly less than half the anticipated rate. 1

The agreement does not specify when China must make purchases except by the end of the year. But on a pro-rated basis, the rate is less than half of the target, meaning that China would need to greatly accelerate its purchases in the second half of the yeat to meet the targets.

Of note, the trade agreement provides for two measurements: “Official Chinese trade data and official US trade data shall be used to determine whether this Chapter has been implemented.”

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Notes

  1. “Through July 2020, China’s year-to-date total imports of covered products from the United States were $48.5 billion, compared with a prorated year-to-date target of $100.7 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $39.3 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $83.2 billion. Through the first seven months of 2020, China’s purchases of all covered products were thus only at 47 percent (US exports) or 48 percent (Chinese imports) of their year-to-date targets.” See https://www.piie.com/research/piie-charts/us-china-phase-one-tracker-chinas-purchases-us-goods.
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