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March 2020 Trade Bulletin

Highlights of This Month’s Edition

  • Bilateral trade: The U.S. goods trade deficit with China totaled $26.1 billion in January 2020, 24.4 percent down year-on-year, with COVID-19 threatening further disruption in trade.
  • Bilateral policy issues: Department of Justice announces multiple indictments related to Chinese hacking and IP theft; Department of Commerce finalizes a rule allowing U.S. industry to petition the government for relief in cases where a country’s currency is deemed to be deliberately undervalued. 
  • Policy trends in China’s economy: Emboldened by praise from the WHO, Chinese officials cite COVID-19 response as evidence of China’s leadership in global health.
  • In focus – COVID-19 economic impact and response: Efforts to contain COVID-19 pummel China’s economy, with a record low in February’s manufacturing PMI; production has been slow to resume as travel restrictions hinder workers’ return; Beijing is focused on supporting economic recovery, targeting financial support toward the most vulnerable companies rather than falling back on across-the-board stimulus; economic disruption in China threatens U.S. multinationals dependent on China-based suppliers and complicates the implementation of the Phase One trade agreement.