RESEARCH: Economics and Trade REPORTS

July 2015 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month's edition: Bilateral trade: Monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with China is up 15 percent from the previous month as imports outpace exports.Bilateral policy issues: Latest S&ED yields few concrete outcomes, no resolution on issues related to cyber security or China’s activities in the South China Sea. Policy trends in China’s economy: Government introduces a slew of reforms to stimulate economy and halt stock market slide; Standing Committee adopts a far-reaching national security law that redefines the government’s “core interests” to include almost every aspect of private and public life, and behavior of foreign corporations and foreign NGOs operating in China. Sector spotlight – E-commerce: Foreign investors granted full ownership of some e-commerce businesses across China amid liberalization in other value-added telecommunications services in Shanghai FTZ.
June 2015 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month's edition: Bilateral trade: Monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with China down 15.2 percent in April on fall in U.S. imports; Bilateral policy issues: The United States indicts six Chinese citizens on charges of trade secret theft; IMF says China’s currency is no longer undervalued; Policy trends in China’s economy: China undercuts fiscal reform by reopening lending to indebted local governments; Chinese stocks volatile as exchanges rebound after dramatic falls; China’s State Council redefines China Development Bank as a “development-oriented financial institution”; Xi Jinping goes to Eurasia, Li Keqiang to Latin America, both sign multibillion dollar bilateral finance deals; Sector spotlight – Sorghum: Following a surge in U.S. sorghum exports to China, Chinese authorities are imposing stricter customs inspections, raising concerns about a possible barrier to trade.
China’s Trade Ambitions: Strategy and Objectives behind China’s Pursuit of Free Trade Agreements
This paper analyzes China’s preferential trade strategy and rationale. It finds that China has signed trade agreements primarily with countries that are neither significant in the global economy nor vital to China’s export sector. Indeed, several partners enjoy bilateral trade surpluses with China, and have comparative advantages in industries that China may want to protect from outside competition. The way in which China negotiates trade deals is also confounding. Unlike the United States, China appears to lack a modus operandi, so that the scope, strength, and details of its agreements vary widely. Some appear exceedingly generous to the trade partner, while others aggressively promote and protect domestic industries. With respect to services, investment, and other advanced provisions, China tends to fall well short of U.S. standards; yet it also demonstrates greater ambition and flexibility than developing country peers like India and Brazil.
China’s Great Legal Firewall: Extraterritoriality of Chinese Firms in the United States
Chinese businesses participating in the U.S. financial services sector can effectively operate behind a firewall that keeps them largely immune from the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and regulatory agencies, leaving U.S. partners, competitors, and investors vulnerable. Greater legal protections for U.S. entities, including requiring Chinese firms in the United States to assign a domestic agent to receive legal papers such as subpoenas and court notifications, are a possible solution to this dilemma of jurisdiction.
May 2015 Trade Bulletin
Bilateral trade: Robust growth in imports widened the U.S. goods deficit with China despite a recovery in U.S. exports this month; Quarterly review of China’s economy: China registers slowest quarterly growth in six years; central government introduces measures to boost the economy; two major corporate defaults mark new trend in China’s slowdown; Policy trends in China’s economy: China to adopt a broadly discretionary national security review and more comprehensive guidelines for foreign investments in its four free trade zones (FTZs).
April 2015 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: • Bilateral trade: Total value of U.S. trade with China continues along a downward trend as the U.S. deficit in goods increases in 2015. • Bilateral policy issues: U.S.-China trade surplus in services increased in 2014 due to strong growth in travel sector; China underpays for U.S. intellectual property given the magnitude of its high-technology exports. • 2015 National People’s Congress Special: Government promises slower, stable growth, renews emphasis on economic reform; last year’s energy intensity and emissions reduction targets met, but public outrage over pollution continues. • Policy trends in China’s economy: The 2015 Spring Festival sees domestic consumption slow while more Chinese choose to spend holiday abroad; CCTV Consumer Rights program attacks state-owned telecom.
U.S. Allies Split with Washington, Bank with China
Key Findings: China has created a regional bank among its Asian neighbors, in a move opposed by the Obama Administration; U.S. allies have sided with China despite Washington’s concerns that China might be using the bank to circumvent more established international banks, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, long dominated by the United States and Europe; China’s supporters in the effort contend that their participation in the new bank will ensure greater transparency while avoiding China’s tendency to loan money without protecting the environment, local populations, and clean governance.
China’s Economic Ties with ASEAN: A Country-by-Country Analysis
This paper assesses China’s relative significance for individual ASEAN economies. It starts with an overview of China’s trade and investment relations with ASEAN as a whole. The paper then provides descriptive statistics on each ASEAN country’s composition of foreign trade by product and top trade partner, as well as foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. It also provides a brief analysis of commercial disputes and bilateral cooperation with China.
China’s Wind and Solar Sectors: Trends in Deployment, Manufacturing, and Energy Policy
This report assesses recent developments in China’s wind and solar industries and the implications for the United States. It builds on the Commission’s past work on U.S.-China energy issues, including the April 2014 hearing on bilateral clean energy cooperation. The research also draws on Congressional testimonies, academic papers, industry and media reports, and statistical data.
March 2015 Trade Bulletin
Bilateral trade: U.S. goods deficit with China grew in January 2015 on the weakness of U.S. exports; bilateral policy issues: The U.S. Treasury said China reduced foreign exchange intervention in the second half of 2014; USTR is challenging China’s export subsidy program at the WTO; policy trends in China’s economy: New rules by Chinese government would bar U.S. technology firms from key tech-intensive sectors of the Chinese market; Chinese public increases use of e-commerce tools during the 2015 Chinese New Year; sector spotlight -- Cotton: China’s policy changes reduce U.S. cotton exports price advantage and market access.