The US Trade Deficit With China Returned to Normal in 2019

The Wall Street Journal, based on data from China, reports that the US trade deficit with China declined substantially in 2019. And that’s true. But it’s worth noting the trendline during the eight years since the end of the Great Recession:

The thing to notice here is not that 2019 was way below trend, but that 2018 was way above trend. In 2019, all that happened is that our trade deficit with China returned to normal. I’m not sure why 2018 was so oddly high, but the data here suggests that Trump’s trade war has accomplished nothing in terms of lowering the trade deficit with China.

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