RESEARCH: Economics and Trade REPORTS

The China-Russia Gas Deal: Background and Implications for the Broader Relationship
On May 21, China signed a 30-year, $400 billion gas supply deal with Russia. The agreement concluded a decade of protracted negotiations, and coincided with an escalation of the Ukraine crisis in Europe. This paper examines the conditions, motives, and implications of the deal. It begins by looking at China’s energy needs and gas import strategy, as well as Russia’s Asia pivot. It then analyzes the key points of contention – the price, shipping route, and payment and investment conditions – and whether or not these were resolved in China’s favor. Section 3 places the deal in the context of Sino-Russian relations, in terms of geopolitics, economic ties, and a maturing energy partnership. The paper closes with implications for the United States, Europe, and Japan.
June 2014 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: Bilateral trade: U.S. service exports in 2013 outperformed 2012 levels; bilateral deficit expands in April due to weak U.S. exports; oil & gas a novel source of export growth; Bilateral policy issues: United States wins WTO case on large-engine autos; U.S. to impose duties on some Chinese solar panels; Alibaba files for IPO in the United States; Policy trends in China’s economy: Chinese government takes additional steps to boost growth; RMB slips further; Sector spotlight: Booming automotive trade is benefiting U.S. exports to China, but the industry claims winners and losers: U.S. auto companies and Chinese industry benefit, China-branded auto companies and U.S. auto parts makers face tough road ahead
Bitcoin's Uncertain Future in China
Bitcoin is changing the way the world thinks about money, and its impact is growing, especially in the United States. The driving force behind Bitcoin’s explosive growth in 2013 was the entry of the Chinese market, while Bitcoin’s subsequent slump in 2014 is largely derived from prohibitive measures issued by China’s central bank. If Chinese authorities continue their crackdown on Bitcoin, the global market and, by extension, the U.S. market, may be severely impacted.
May 2014 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: Bilateral trade expands, mostly due to U.S. exports; monthly bilateral trade deficit down 33 percent since September 2013; Bilateral policy issues: Treasury calls RMB decline “unprecedented”; USTR Special 301 Report voices concerns about IP and trade secrets; dual appeal in WTO rare earths case; China’s economy: GDP growth slows to 7.4 percent; only one Chinese province meets 2014 growth target; China’s exports and investment underperform in first quarter; China’s GDP set to surpass the United States on PPP-basis as China’s income inequality widens; Sector spotlight – Copper: Minmetals buys Peruvian copper mine for $5.85 billion; mine could supply 4-5 percent of China’s copper imports; supply-demand imbalances ahead.
April 2014 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this Month's edition: U.S.-China bilateral trade fell in February, mostly due to a plunge in U.S. imports from China, with a net positive effect for the U.S. trade balance; USTR publishes 2014 National Trade Estimate report detailing major trade barriers; WTO hands U.S. victory in rare earth case, but partial win to China on U.S. trade remedies law case; February exports drop significantly, resulting in a rare monthly trade deficit; Chinese policymakers say they could tolerate slower growth but evidence is conflicting: the government has allowed two small firms to default, but at the same time, the government has taken new measures to stimulate growth; Agricultural products dominate U.S. exports to China, but they are underperforming; bulk items, mostly soybeans, dominate exports, while Chinese government restricts access for U.S. consumer foods.
China’s 2014 Government Work Report: Taking Stock of Reforms
This paper provides an overview and assess key points of China’s 2014 Government Work Report’s plans for financial system liberalization, fiscal reform, administrative reform, environmental regulation, urbanization and rural land reform, and healthcare reform.
China’s Hunger for U.S. Planes and Cars: Assessing the Risks
The U.S. trade deficit with China continues to grow but at a slower rate. A key reason for this is the boom in U.S. automotive and aerospace shipments to China. As China becomes more affluent and urbanized, ordinary Chinese are driving more cars and traveling more by frequently by air. China’s future demand, however, could be affected by pollution, traffic bottlenecks, and other factors. U.S. companies must also contend with China’s industrial policy, which tilts the playing field toward domestic industry. In the long run, technology transfer and off-shoring could erode U.S. competitiveness and take business away from U.S. plants.
China’s Foreign Exchange Reserves and Holdings of U.S. Securities
This paper looks at China's foreign exchange reserves and holdings of U.S. Treasuries, and examines China’s efforts to diversify its investments
Should China Join the WTO’s Services Agreement?
USCC economic issue brief prepared by staff on China's petition last October to join the Trade in Services Agreement, a side agreement in the WTO that entered its sixth round of talks in late February.
March 2014 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month's edition: Strong increase in exports but overall trade slows; transportation equipment continues strong gains; info technology imports from China decline; Kerry signs climate agreements in Beijing; GAO criticizes administration for lax follow-up on China commitments; AmCham releases member survey; China’s movie market is booming but Hollywood lacks access; disappointment about China’s failure to lift film quota; China sets 2014 growth target at 7.5 percent; shoddy export and FDI data causes confusion; NPLs and lending surge add to concerns over debt bubble; RMB decline ignites speculation