China May Finally be Coming Around on Trade

Recent statements from Beijing are providing the most hopeful indications yet that China may finally be coming around on trade.

According to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Chinese goods exports to the U.S. over the past six months declined 12.8 percent compared to the same period of 2018, driving the trade surplus down ten percent. Taken at an annual rate, China’s trade surplus with the U.S. in the January-April interval would be 23.5 percent below China’s surplus for all of last year.

Trade surplus was of course the major factor that triggered the one-year-plus trade war between China and the United States. Looking at the data, it is no surprise why the Trump administration has taken such a tough stance on trade with the People’s Republic of China. China has accumulated nearly a trillion dollars of U.S. trade surpluses on President Trump’s watch. But in truth this is nothing new. The trade in-balance has been in the tens of billions of dollars for years. But finally, as the stats show, China seems to be showing a readiness to keep its sales in American markets on a steep and steady path.

But beyond just the raw numbers, the strongest indication China may finally be coming around on trade came from the country’s premier himself. Last Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the following remarks at an international economic forum in Russia: “It’s hard to imagine a complete break of the United States from China or of China from the United States. We are not interested in this, and our American partners are not interested in this. President Trump is my friend and I am convinced he is also not interested in this.”

Another meeting between Trump and Xi is expected at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan. Hopefully this time around, their rendezvous will have a more friendly tone.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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