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April 2020 Trade Bulletin

Highlights of This Month’s Edition

  • Bilateral trade: Chinese exports to the United States fell to $22.8 billion in February 2020 from $33.2 billion in February 2019, a drop of 31.3 percent, the largest fall since the Census’ earliest reported data in the 1990s.

  • Bilateral policy issues: Beijing exploits COVID-19’s spread for a new soft power offensive; global investors are discussing whether China could emerge as the next safe haven for financial assets, but market data do not suggest a change in their attitude.

  • Policy trends in China’s economy: Chinese financial regulators are taking steps to help diversify and professionalize China’s asset management industry and strengthen its ability to resolve nonperforming loans; China’s three major telecom operators have pledged substantial increases in 5G base station construction as part of China’s economic recovery strategy; property sales fall by an estimated 38 percent year-on-year in February as measures to contain COVID-19 force developer sales centers to close.  

  • In Focus – Personal Protective Equipment: The global shortage of face masks and other medical products amid the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the world’s critical dependence on China as a source of personal protective equipment.