May 2016 Economics and Trade Bulletin

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Highlights of This Month’s Edition:

  • Bilateral trade: Weaker imports cause the U.S. goods deficit with China to fall 5.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter; Chinese services exports to the United States reach an all-time high of $4.24 billion, driven largely by increases in U.S. tourism spending.
  • Bilateral policy issues: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative labels China’s Internet censorship a trade barrier; China ends “Demonstration Bases” export subsidy program after U.S. challenge at the WTO; multilateral effort to rein in overcapacity fails, even as Chinese steel production hits new high; U.S. Steel accuses China of IP theft.
  • Quarterly review of China’s economy: In the first quarter of 2016, the Chinese government again used investment to bolster economic growth, raising questions about the recovery’s sustainability.
  • Sector focus – Pork: A pig shortage in China has led to a dramatic increase in pork prices and sent consumers clamoring for imports, but U.S. exporters continue to face market access restrictions.