December 2018 Trade Bulletin

Date: 

Monday, December 10, 2018

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Summary: 

Highlights of This Month’s Edition: • Bilateral trade: In October 2018, the U.S. goods trade deficit increased 22.3 percent year-on-year to reach a record high of $43.1 billion; declines in export categories targeted by retaliatory tariffs contributed to the sharp deficit increase. • Bilateral policy issues: Escalation in U.S. and Chinese tariffs halted for 90 days, but longstanding U.S. concerns about China’s technology transfer, intellectual property (IP) theft, and innovation policies remain unaddressed; the Chinese government commits to take additional steps to combat illicit fentanyl flows, purchase U.S. agricultural products, but details of the agreement remain unclear; the U.S. government took action against Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, citing IP violations, and trade secret theft from Micron (the largest U.S. memory chip maker), and risks to the U.S. military supply chain; Huawei executive arrested for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions. • Policy trends in China’s economy: Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales reach another record high, but the pace of growth has slowed, reflecting a weaker Chinese economy and rising competition from other e-commerce platforms and promotional events. • In Focus – Lithium-ion batteries: China has positioned itself to dominate global supply chains and production of lithium-ion batteries, a core technology enabling the adoption of electric vehicles and transportation.

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