Is Canada Emerging as a Winner in US-China Trade War?


Jun. 11 2019, Updated 4:08 a.m. ET

China’s trade data

Today, China’s customs department released May’s trade data. To everyone’s surprise, China’s exports rose by 1.1% in May on a year-over-year basis amid the trade war with the US. At the same time, imports fell 8.5%. Analysts were expecting both imports and exports to fall 3.8%. Due to better-than-expected exports and lower-than-expected imports, China’s trade surplus of $41.65 billion came in much higher than the expected $13.84 billion.

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Trade with the US

In the first five months of 2019, China’s total trade with the US dropped 14.5%. China’s imports from the US fell 29.6% on a year-over-year basis. However, China’s exports to the US fell by only 8.4%. In simpler terms, China’s purchases of US goods fell much faster than America’s purchases of Chinese goods. China’s goods trade surplus with the US came in at $110.5 billion during the first five months of 2019 against $104.3 billion during the same period last year. Thus, America’s trade deficit against China, which was the bone of contention for Trump, is actually rising amid the trade war.

Trade with Canada

While Canada’s trade with China is much less compared to the US-China trade, Canada seems to be benefitting from the trade war. China’s imports from Canada rose 17.7% in the first five months of 2019, while China’s exports to Canada grew at 15.9%. Canada’s trade deficit against China remained almost steady.


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