Beijing blames Washington for the 14.5% drop in US-China bilateral trade 

Key Takeaways:

  • US-China bilateral trade has tanked nearly 15%
  • The Chinese Ambassador to the US has blamed Washington’s policies for the fall
  • Chinese exports to the US fell by 23.1%
China's ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, has attributed the decline in US-China trade to US tariffs and export controls.
Beijing has blamed US tariffs and export controls for the drop in the US-China bilateral trade. Pic Credit: Canva

YEREVAN ( — China’s ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, has attributed the decline in trade between Beijing and Washington to the imposition of US tariffs and export controls. Citing China’s customs data, the Chinese envoy highlighted that trade between the two nations experienced a notable decline in the first half of the current year compared to the previous year.

Xie delivered his remarks via video during the Forbes US-China Business Forum in New York, according to a recent report by CNBC. The Chinese embassy in the United States subsequently published the entire speech on its website. 

China-US trade dropped by 14.5%

According to China’s customs data, trade between China and the United States dropped by a whopping 14.5% between the first and second quarter (Q1 &Q2) of 2023. 

“This is a direct consequence of U.S. moves to levy Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, abuse unilateral sanctions and further tighten up export controls. Livelihoods of many families have been affected, and businesses from both countries have born the brunt,”

 the Chinese envoy said

Xie further accused the United States of creating unfavorable conditions for boosting trade between the two economic giants. He alleged that the United States, which has been a vocal proponent of encouraging China’s expansion of foreign investment access in the past, has adopted a contrasting stance by implementing its own set of restrictive measures. 

He further argued that the outbound investment review executive order stands as a departure from the principle of free trade. This, according to him, could potentially constrain the avenues for American enterprises to foster growth within China.

“Also, the United States called on China to level the playing field before, but now it is depriving Chinese businesses of the right to compete. More than 1,300 Chinese entities and personnel are on US sanction lists,”

 he lashed out. 

There is also a palpable disparity in tariff structures, with the average US tariff on Chinese products standing at 19%, while Chinese tariffs on American goods exhibit an average of 7.3%. The Chinese envoy questioned the ethics of such an imbalance, raising concerns about its alignment with genuine US interests.

Chinese exports to US tank

The United States stands as China’s primary trading partner when considering individual countries. However, the ongoing trade conflict between these two global economic players has escalated over the past year. 

In the meantime, China, which depends highly on its exports, has seen its global export share drop. According to a recent BBC article, its overall exports fell by nearly 15% in July, compared to the year earlier. 

This was the third consecutive month that Chinese exports fell, marking the worst decline since 2020.

China's ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, has attributed the decline in US-China trade to US tariffs and export controls.
Chinese foreign exports have dropped significantly for three months in a row.

Shipments to the United States experienced a notable decline of 23.1% compared to the previous year. Similarly, the European Union’s purchases from China also contracted by 20.6%.

With the second-largest economy going through a rough patch, it comes as no surprise that Xie Feng is batting for favorable trade terms with the US. 

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