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January 2021 Trade Bulletin

Highlights of This Month’s Edition

  • U.S.-China Trade: In November 2020, monthly U.S. imports from China were $44.8 billion, a two-year high; U.S. goods exports to China were up 40.3 percent year-on-year at $14.1 billion; on the anniversary of the Phase One deal, China still behind on its purchase commitments.
  • EU-China Investment Agreement: China and the EU have concluded in principle the negotiations for an investment agreement, which may complicate transatlantic cooperation on China.
  • Vaccine Diplomacy: China’s recent approval of a domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine could bolster its global soft-power campaign.
  • Stock Markets: Additional Chinese companies expelled from U.S. stock exchanges and major investment indices as targeted U.S. sanctions program takes shape.
  • Chinese FDI: DOJ announced further scrutiny of Chinese investments during 2020 in the face of pandemic-related challenges to the U.S. economy, though the results are unclear.
  • Fintech Crackdown and Trust Busting: Chinese regulators intensified scrutiny of fintech and internet conglomerates, continuing to target entrepreneur Jack Ma’s companies but pledging a wider crackdown in 2021.
  • In Focus – Central Economic Work Conference: At the key economic planning conference, Beijing emphasizes monetary stability and fiscal sustainability in 2021, but also highlighted several emerging trends in China’s economic policies, including new antitrust regulations and easing of fiscal and monetary stimulus.