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January 2022 Trade Bulletin

Highlights of This Month’s Edition

  • China Consolidates Rare Earths Firms: In December 2021, three state-owned rare earths mining companies merged into a new conglomerate, China Rare Earth Group, which will control 40 percent of China’s rare earths reserves.
  • China Challenges U.S. Firms about Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: As the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act becomes law, signals of imminent Chinese retaliation spell difficulties for U.S. companies.
  • Chinese Communist Party Emphasizes Stability at Key Economic Planning Conference: Heading into a politically sensitive year, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) looks to prioritize economic stability after regulatory tightening in the technology and property sectors diminished market confidence in 2021.
  • Bilateral Trade: In November 2021, the monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with China increased to $32.3 billion, with goods imports from China reaching $48.4 billion, their highest level since October 2018.
  • In Focus: Shein’s Rapid Growth Accompanied by Controversy: A relative newcomer to the fashion industry, Shein has become one of China’s most successful apparel firms worldwide, with an emphasis on quick production and low prices. Amid its growth, Shein has attracted criticism from many observers, including fashion designers, environmentalists, and labor activists.