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U.S.-China economic relationship supports 2.6 million U.S. jobs

Staff Writer |
The U.S.-China economic relationship nowadays supports roughly 2.6 million jobs in the United States across a range of industries, according to a new report released by the U.S.-China Business Council.

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The report, based on the study conducted by Oxford Economics, said China has become the third-largest purchaser of U.S.-made products and services after Mexico and Canada, buying $165 billion in goods and services in 2015 alone, accounting for 7.3 percent of all U.S. exports.

The report estimated that in 2015, U.S. exports to China directly and indirectly supported 1.8 million U.S. jobs, and U.S. investment in China supported another 688,000 jobs while Chinese investment in the United States supported about 104,000 jobs.

"When the economic benefits generated from U.S. investment in China and Chinese investment in the United States are combined, the total amounts to 2.6 million U.S. jobs," the report said.

As the size and purchasing power of the Chinese middle class continues to grow over the next decade, the report expected U.S. exports to China to rise to about 369 billion U.S. dollars by 2026 and more than $520 billion by 2030.

The report noted the impact of U.S.-China trade deficit was frequently overstated as many of Chinese exports comprise foreign-produced components and the contribution of U.S. service exports to China is often overlooked when tallying the balance of trade.

"When these points are factored in, the U.S. deficit with China falls from 2 percent to just 0.8 percent of U.S. GDP - less than the U.S. trade deficit with the European Union," the report said.

Chinese manufacturing products also helped lower prices of consumer goods in the United States, dampening inflation and putting more money in American wallets, according to the report.

"At an aggregate level, U.S. consumer prices are 1 percent-1.5 percent lower because of cheaper Chinese imports.

"The typical U.S. household earned about 56,500 dollars in 2015; trade with China therefore saved these families up to 850 dollars that year," the report said.