RESEARCH: Economics and Trade REPORTS

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.
Chinese Investment in the United States: Recent Trends in Real Estate, Industry, and Investment Promotion
This report examines recent trends in Chinese investment in the United States, drawing on interviews with state officials. It begins with a general review of Chinese outbound investment patterns, and then looks in more detail at U.S. real estate, industry, and investment promotion. The paper identifies important implications for the United States, including the potential to strengthen regulation of the EB-5 visa program and improve federal support of state efforts.
February 2015 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: Bilateral trade: U.S. goods deficit with China sets new record, imports outpace exports; U.S. maintains surplus in services despite weaker export growth; transport equipment shipments to China remain strong, farm goods shipments tail off. - Quarterly review of China’s economy: China registers slowest growth in quarter-century; strong consumption and weak investment suggests some rebalancing; low inflation and “shadow” banking containment give central bank room for easing. - Policy trends in China’s economy: Leadership’s “new normal” principle likely to carry into 2015, emphasizing slower but higher quality growth. - Sector focus-China’s draft Foreign Investment Law: Draft of new foreign investment law introduces “negative list” approach and codifies national treatment, but updated national security review could create additional market access barriers.
January 2015 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: •Bilateral trade: November trade deficit with China increases 10.7 percent year-on-year; 2014 deficit on track for another record; U.S. exports to China contract for third consecutive month. •Bilateral policy issues: Vice-PM Wang Yang makes conciliatory remarks at JCCT; JCCT renders important outcomes on export controls, medical products, biotech, antitrust; China tables new GPA offer, again piecemeal; China complies early with WTO rare earths ruling. •Policy trends in China’s economy: Internet company TenCent launches China’s first fully online private bank with Premier Li’s blessing. •Sector spotlight: China approves MIR 162 GMO corn trait, paving way for more U.S. corn shipments; asynchronous biotech approvals and other agricultural market barriers remain.
December 2014 Trade Bulletin
Here are the highlights of this month’s edition: • Bilateral trade: October monthly deficit declines 3.2 percent on the strength of U.S. exports to China, but overall trade deficit on track for another record in 2014. • Bilateral policy issues: China pushes FTAAP, meets with Japan, signs South Korea FTA at APEC meetings; U.S.-China summit produces deals on climate, visas, and ITA; G20 members agree to combat tax evasion and money laundering; China-Australia FTA opens services sector and raises threshold for screening of Chinese investments. • Policy trends in China’s economy: China announces deposit insurance scheme; “guarantee chains” plague China’s banking sector and risk spreading contagion. • Sector spotlight – Illegal Wildlife Products: China makes international pledges to ban trading but poaching and illegal trading still incentivized by rising income levels in China, partial legalization, and skyrocketing prices.
November 2014 Trade Bulletin
Highlights of this month’s edition: Bilateral trade: U.S.-China goods deficit reaches $251.8 billion through September on strength of imports from China; U.S.-China trade surplus in services hits record $6.81 billion in Q2, as U.S. exports grow and China services sector lags; The Fourth Plenum Decision: Government promises to improve fairness and accountability in the legal system, but the Party is not loosening grip on power; Bilateral policy issues: Renminbi “significantly undervalued” but Administration stops short of accusing China of currency cheating; United States requests China submit missing subsidies notifications to WTO; Quarterly review of China’s economy: Slowest GDP growth in over a decade; key indicators underperform (freight, real estate, consumption); exports strong but data unreliable; global investors in limbo as Shanghai-Hong Kong stock trading link missed projected start date amid ongoing protests in Hong Kong; Sector spotlight – Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank: The AIIB heralded as a much needed addition to address the region’s infrastructure funding shortfall; concerns remain on lending standards and its potential challenge to the World Bank and IMF. This edition of the monthly trade bulletin, originally released November 4, was revised on November 5 to highlight the United States’ record monthly goods deficit with China. The original version included an inaccurate subheading, which stated that the deficit was up but growing more slowly.