Tuesday, March 13, 2012

China's New Trade Deficit

A worsening balance of trade
In the land in which everything's made
May be read as a sign
Of commercial decline
In the rest of the world, I'm afraid.

The news of China's large global trade deficit in February came as a shock, and may evoke some Schadenfreude in Americans who have despaired over the size of our nation's trade deficit with China. However, this is no time for malicious glee in the centers of manufacturing, or legislation. For one thing, the $4.1 billion Chinese trade deficit in the first two months of the year did not redound to the benefit of the US, with which China still has a large trade surplus. Second, the Chinese trade deficit indicates weak consumption among its European trading partners, to which Chinese exports declined by 1.1%. This is a sign of a possible global slowdown, which benefits nobody.

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