The July Trade Release

Trade deficit grows. US-China goods trade deficit is now growing too.

Figure 1: US Trade balance, balance of payments basis, billions $, SAAR (blue). Gray denotes possible NBER recession period. Source: BuCensus/BEA via FRED and author’s calculations.

The annualized trade deficit in 2017M01 was $515 billion; it was $763 in July.

Figure 2: US-China Goods trade balance, billions $, s.a., annualized (blue). Seasonal adjustment using multiplicative seasonal dummies. Gray denotes possible NBER recession period. Source: BuCensus/BEA via FRED and author’s calculations.

While the US-China goods balance has improved since 2017M01, it’s not because exports to China have increased. US exports are $104 billion over the 12 months ending July; they were $117 billion in the 12 months ending January 2017.

For those who expected Trump’s Phase 1 deal to herald a new era of exports, well see Chad Bown’s tabulation. It’s surprising only in that it failed even more pathetically than I expected.

31 thoughts on “The July Trade Release

  1. pgl

    “Through August 2020, China’s year-to-date total imports of covered products from the United States were $56.1 billion, compared with a prorated year-to-date target of $115.1 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $47.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $95.1 billion. Through the first eight months of 2020, China’s purchases of all covered products were thus only at 50 percent (US exports) or 49 percent (Chinese imports) of their year-to-date targets.”

    Trump promised to run the US economy in the same way he ran his businesses – which was to run them into the ground.

  2. pgl

    The Tampa Bay Lightning raised Lord Stanley’s Cup last night. Florida needed some good news. But here is the most amazing thing about the hockey playoffs – 31 thousand tests and zero detections of COVID-19. It can be done especially when one sets up bubbles in Canada and not Florida.

    NBA is doing well so far in Orlando. Go Lakers!

    1. Moses Herzog

      I have mixed feelings about hockey, but this time of year and with the virus, isn’t this what British (not that Americans don’t rarely use the term also) call a “respite”?? We need “respites” like hockey so bad now. I really enjoyed watching Patrick Kane 3-4 years back. I like that Black dude that plays for Philadelphia and hope the sport of hockey finds a way to be more accepting to the African American athlete. I think it’s not a pure “racism”, or an intentional “racism”, but I think the sport should take the initiative to be welcoming to young Black athletes–they might find their version of Golf’s Tiger Woods is out there somewhere, and only lacks the equipment, a smile, and pat on the shoulder and a tutor to take the sport into an entirely greater world —like Tiger Woods has brought to Golf. Emotional moments and points of Euphoria that lesser athletes never gave us.

  3. Moses Herzog

    I got a very cheap bottle of Miles Raymond’s pinot noir tonight. It’s supposed to have cherry accents and it’s a smidgeon smidgeon stronger than my Beringer’s zinfandel “go to” drink. Hurry people, before I open it, we only have 20 minutes to decide~~~which key words should we drink to tonight during the debate?? “…..and everybody knows it” right after he tells a gargantuan lie is my lead candidate. “Weak” is a standby choice. Help me here people, it’s getting close and my mind is going blank on donald trump cliches. I wanna be halfway sauced before the first commercial break or I’m gonna have to break out the razors and ice.

  4. Moses Herzog

    You know I’m drinking here, and I sometimes think (maybe it’s rationalization??) my mind works better when I drink. And you know I always found the time stamps on this blog kinda weird. Menzie lives in Wisconsin, but the time stamps are pacific coast. Is that Menzie’s way of expressing his love for Washington, California, and the west coast.?? Or am I thinking too much and over-thinking something when his good, lauded, and scholastically heroic cohort Professor Hamilton is basking in the west coast glow of San Diego??

  5. Moses Herzog

    I like this one, even though it’s crazy music, because it has the UNiversity protesters back then, BTW, from one of the best universities in China (I could have only dreamed to teach there, I had friends who got scholarships to there, strangers who asked me to “edit” their English resume (God help them please)) BUt how cool is it the video is from 2009, but the lingo hasn’t changed much. How cool is that??

    I had colleagues working at a only slightly above average school who had engineering degrees etc, from top 5 schools there, (I’ll try to remember one of them and post them below) it was my honor to work with them and to this day it amazes me they wasted time talking to me.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I meant to say I edited their English application to the school, see, there’s an example. I probably doomed them. Oh well, the “ugly American” got a free meal or something, and isn’t that “the important thing”??

  6. Moses Herzog

    He was an Engineering guy, and it seems strange looking at the geography, but I think it was Fudan he was trying to get a grant for a PhD er somethign , and he was wanting to know what major he should choose. It’s quite a strange feeling when a guy 3 times smarter than you asks you what PhD major he should choose over lunch noodles. YOu just wanna go “Uh dude, we’re eating free UNiversity cafeteria noodles, and this is free advice, but uh, ‘Really’ “??

  7. rjs

    coincidentally, this morning the Census Bureau released the Advance Report on U.S. International Trade in Goods for August, which also revises July’s trade in goods:

    those are sketchy reports intended to give the BEA an advance basis for their GDP estimates…

    “The advance international trade deficit in goods increased to $82.9 billion in August from $80.1 billion in July as imports increased more than exports.”
    August 2020: 82.9° $ billion
    July 2020: 80.1° $ billion

  8. ltr

    September 30, 2020

    United States Goods Imports from minus Exports to China Mainland and Hong Kong, 2017-2020

    What is usually unspoken and I think still little understood is that the American trade conflict with China is not all that much about trade volumes but rather as was immediately noticed in a Washington Post article * about limiting or stopping the advance of technology by the Chinese.  The idea was to stop the Chinese buying or making technology advancing products while getting them to buy soybeans and the like.  The Chinese understood of course, and at first quietly but now openly a prime economic emphasis in Chinese is domestic technology advance through and through.

    As with the use of the “International” Space Station which was denied the Chinese in 2011, the Chinese turned to developing a domestic-international space station and much of the program has been completed.  As with a global positioning system, BeiDou has been completed….


  9. pgl

    Kevin Drum has been busy today. One Mother Jones post calls us people like Chris Christie for trying to deny that “Stand Back, Stand By” dog whistle to his racist terrorist base. And this cross national comparison of total COVID19 deaths per capita (in the black square) along with charts of how this is changing on a daily basis (7-day average):

    UK still has more deaths per capita than the US barely but notice we are catching up. I guess the Trump sycophants are ready to cheer that the USA is #1. MAGA!

  10. ltr

    China hasn’t gotten anything important from the US since the early/mid 80’s.

    [ Increasing openness, increasing trade, increasing adaptability have been decidedly important for China, and this is being stressed now. Structures such as Belt and Road are meant to insure and further necessary openness. Specialized free trade zones are being readied from Hainan to Shanghai to Beijing. The Chinese space station will be international. The point is openness where benign. ]

  11. ltr

    China hasn’t gotten anything important from the US since the early/mid 80’s.

    [ This is the mistake in thinking of a prominent economist at Berkeley, who supposes that the Chinese do not learn from institutions beyond China and in the absence of such learning will not adapt properly to global changes as will in the economist’s words “North Atlantic” institutions. Look for instance how active the Chinese are in the United Nations, how much effort is devoted to bilateral relations. ]

    1. Barkley Rosser

      Oh come on, ltr. Do please tell us which “prominent economist at Berkleley” you are dissing. Surely the CCP does not mean this to be a state secret to be kept from us here on Econbrowser.

  12. ltr

    China hasn’t gotten anything important from the US since the early/mid 80’s.

    [ This assertion struck me as quite important, because the Chinese have learned so much of value from the United States since the visit of Richard Nixon in 1972. Being increasingly open, the Chinese have learned from country after country and that learning has allowed for increasing adaptability and in turn for the making of contributions that will meet collective needs:

    September 25, 2020

    Did Xi Just Save the World?
    In a little-noticed speech this week, China permanently changed the global fight against climate change.

    September 23, 2020

    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the General Debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly ]

  13. ltr

    Continuing on the theme of openness and institutional adaptability, Xi Jinping has now addressed the United Nations twice more since September 23 on matters of Chinese responsibility:

    September 30, 2020

    Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity.

    October 1, 2020

    Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed a high-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

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