The Strategist

Analysts re-estimated losses from US-China trade war

03/14/2019 - 14:34

Introduction of US protective import duties and the reciprocal increase in tariffs by China have already led to a decrease in bilateral trade. However, the negative effect on other trade flows (including those not affected by supply restrictions to/from the US) is overvalued. This conclusion was made by experts of the Washington Institute of International Finance. They analyzed changes in the volume of deliveries of 100 non-commodity product categories in real time, based on weekly customs statistics in US ports. The data showed that, after a recession at the end of last year, both export and US imports stabilized at the beginning of 2019 and are even showing signs of growth. The IIF indicates that the model allows predicting monthly trading dynamics with a probability of 70%.

USDAgov via flickr
USDAgov via flickr
Recall that in late February, Donald Trump announced extension of the deadline to complete negotiations with China on resolution of trade disputes. Earlier, the White House warned about readiness to increase import duty rates of $ 200 billion to 25% from March 2, as well as to cover the remaining volume of imports with tariffs. Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that both sides were "on the verge" of reaching an agreement. It is assumed that the agreement can be concluded after another personal meeting of Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping on March 27. So far, the total volume of imports, to which the restrictions of both countries apply, has amounted to $ 360 billion (of which $ 250 billion fall on goods from China).

Meanwhile, Asian trade statistics shows a decrease in nominal trade volumes. In China, the volume of February exports in monetary terms decreased year-on-year by 20.7%, imports - by 5.7%. At the same time, January exports from China in annual terms grew by 9.1%, and imports - by 1.5%. The surplus of Chinese trade with the United States in February declined from January of $ 27.3 billion to $ 14.7 billion. Last year, according to Chinese data, it amounted to a record $ 323.3 billion, while, according to estimates of the US Ministry of Commerce, the US trade deficit China turned out to be noticeably large - $ 419.2 billion.