Unexpectedly Intriguing!
08 September 2021

The growth of trade between the U.S. and China flashed warning signs in July 2021. While U.S. exports to China showed year-over-year growth, the growth rate in the value of goods imported to the U.S. from China turned slightly negative for the first time since August 2020, suggesting the onset of stalled growth conditions for the U.S. economy.

Year Over year Growth Rate of Exchange Rate Adjusted U.S.-China Trade in Goods and Services, January 1986 - July 2021

The change reversed the positive trend of growth that began in August 2020 with the post-Coronavirus Recession trade recovery between the two countries. That change shows up in the following chart showing the combined value of U.S. exports to China and imports from China.

Year Over year Growth Rate of Exchange Rate Adjusted U.S.-China Trade in Goods and Services, January 1986 - July 2021

Here, we see the gap between trailing twelve month average of trade between the two countries and the 'No Coronavirus Pandemic' counterfactual grow for the first time since August 2020. The gap between the trailing year average of trade between the two nations and a 'No Coronavirus Pandemic' counterfactual increased to $7.5 billion in June 2021. We estimate the cumulative loss of trade between the two countries has reached $139.1 billion.


Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. China / U.S. Foreign Exchange Rate. G.5 Foreign Exchange Rates. Accessed 2 September 2021.

U.S. Census Bureau. Trade in Goods with China. Accessed 2 September 2021.


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