Annual U.S.-China trade deficit soars to new record: AAM Statement

On eve of Xi Jinping visit to U.S., a record U.S.-China annual trade deficit announced this morning

Figures released this morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce show that the U.S. racked up a whopping new record annual goods deficit with China of $295.5 billion in 2011, a significant increase from the previous record of $273 billion in 2010. 

The overall U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services clocked in at $558 billion in 2011, up from $500 billion in 2010.

Said Scott Paul, Executive Director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):

"There is no question that our $295.5 billion annual trade deficit with China is an economic and political challenge. From an economic point of view, the trade deficit with China shows just how strong the headwinds are against “insourcing” jobs back to the United States. From a political point of view, the trade deficit with China shows just how little leadership Congress and the president are providing on international economic matters. House Speaker John Boehner could allow a vote on bipartisan legislation to deter China’s currency manipulation;  the bill would pass overwhelmingly. But he won’t, despite pleas from domestic manufacturers and many fellow Republicans. The Obama Administration could designate China as a currency manipulator, but it has chosen to take a pass six consecutive times. Administration officials could directly criticize Beijing’s practices when Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visits next week.  Instead, they will be trumpeting a few commercial deals in a carefully choreographed stage play.

"China’s economic policies—subsidies, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, currency manipulation—are now the single largest impediment to job growth in America. Manufacturing in the United States can flourish, but only if the playing field is level. Voters overwhelmingly believe that China’s trade practices are a threat to our nation’s economic security. They also believe Washington is doing nothing to respond. We can’t afford to listen to more promises when action is needed today."