Unexpectedly Intriguing!
November 5, 2020

After bottoming in July 2020, the trailing twelve month average of the combined value of goods traded between the U.S. and China continued to move upward in September 2020.

That latest change can be seen in our chart showing the history of this metric from January 2008 through September 2020.

Combined Value of U.S. Exports to China and Imports from China, January 2008 - September 2020

With January 2020's 'Phase 1' trade deal between the U.S. and China, the volume of trade between the two countries should have begun recovering in February. Instead, it plunged through March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic starting in China, before beginning to recover in April 2020. In September 2020, the volume of trade is $3.9 billion higher than what was recorded in September 2019, as China has significantly increased its imports of U.S.-produced agricultural goods.

So how much has the coronavirus pandemic affected the level of trade between the U.S. and China? We find a gap of $10.3 billion has opened between the trailing year average of trade between the two nations and a 'No Coronavirus Pandemic' counterfactual through September 2020. This figure represents the total trade loss attributable to the pandemic.

As of September 2020, the U.S. is recording higher year-over-year growth in the value of the goods it imports from China. Here is a chart illustrating the year-over-year growth rates in the value of U.S. goods exported to China and Chinese goods imported to the U.S., where we find both countries are seeing positive year-over-year growth since the beginning of the global coronavirus recession. The chart shows the entire modern history of this measure from January 1986 through September 2020.

Year Over Year Growth Rate of Exchange Rate Adjusted U.S.-China Trade in Goods and Services, January 1986 - September 2020

The biggest change is the result of China finally acting to meet its obligations to purchase U.S. agricultural goods under the terms of the Phase 1 trade deal, which accounts for the strong surge in U.S. exports to China.

In turning positive, the year over year growth rate of U.S. imports from China comes as the nation's economy recovers from the coronavirus recession, providing another indication that this recession may be short lived.

Previously on Political Calculations

Here are the previous episodes of our series exploring the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on trade between the U.S. and China, presented in reverse chronological order!


Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. China / U.S. Foreign Exchange Rate. G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates. 4 November 2020.

U.S. Census Bureau. Trade in Goods with China. 4 November 2020.

Labels: , ,

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button


The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Shopping Guides
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.