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Exports to China vital for U.S. economy, jobs

Staff Writer |
Exports of goods and services to China continue to play an essential role in the U.S. economy and job growth, according to a report by the U.S.-China Business Council.

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U.S. goods exports to China totaled $113 billion last year, down from the previous two years, but China remained the third-largest export market for American goods, the council said in an annual report on U.S. exports to China.

The report noted that the rapid growth in U.S. services exports to China is an important new development of bilateral economic relationship. In 2014, the most recent complete year of available data, exports of U.S. services to China reached $42 billion, making China the U.S.’ fourth-largest services export market.

Despite a slowdown in China’s economy and trade growth, “U.S. exports of goods and services to China have grown faster than exports to any other major U.S. trading partner over the past decade,” the report said.

Exports of U.S. goods to China surged 115 percent from 2006 to 2015, while U.S. services exports to China soared over 300 percent from 2006 to 2014, according to the council.

“Most states have seen significant increases in exports of goods and services to China since 2006,” the report said, adding that 31 states posted at least triple-digit jump in goods exports to China in the past decade. Every U.S. state posted triple-digit growth in export of services to China over the same period.

The report also noted that exports of goods and services to China supported several industries including transport equipment, agriculture, computers and electronics, chemicals, travel and education, business and professional services, and financial services in the U.S..

While China is a significant market for American exports, the U.S. has a small share of China’s overall market. U.S. goods accounted for only 6.5 percent of China’s total imports last year, the report said, urging the U.S. to promote talks with China on a high-standard bilateral investment treaty, which would facilitate and expand U.S. exports to China.

The two countries have held 26 rounds of talks on an investment treaty talks since negotiations started in 2008. China and U.S. officials have signaled a willingness to finalize a deal before us President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017.

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