Comparison of US and Chinese Exports and Imports

China and USA are two biggest export and import countries. 

World trade has been dominated by these two giants. 

According to most experts not only world trade but also world itself will be shaped by the competition of these two countries. 

I would like to start investigating export import comparison of these two great countries below with the exports sub-heading. 

PS : Trade in commercial services did not take into account. Export and import refers to trade of tangible goods only. All data from WTO.

How Chinese and US exports have changed since 2007?

Chinese Exports: In year 2007, Chinese exports were slightly higher than US exports. China exported merchandise with aggregate amount equals to 1.220 billion USD in year 2007. China managed to increase its exports between 2007 and 2012 regularly except in year 2009 where the Global Financial Crises hit the world market.

The surprising thing is that China could recover from financial crises very quickly. In year 2010, 2011 and 2012 Chinese exports increased significantly. 

We see 68% increases on Chinese exports between 2007 and 2012. What makes this success more valuable is that it was achieved under hard economic conditions where other economies are struggling with.
US and Chinese Exports 2007-2012
US Exports: In year 2007, US exports were slightly lower than Chinese exports. US managed to increase its exports but not as high as China. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between US and China exports is that how hard the financial crises hit these two countries and how quickly they recovered. 

US were the central of the last global financial crisis. As a result the biggest damage was taken by US economy. Consequently US exports effected heavily from the financial crises.

We see 34% increases on US exports between year 2007 and 2012.

How Chinese and US imports have changed since 2007?

Chinese Imports: In year 2007, Chinese imports were less than half of US imports. China imported merchandise with aggregate amount equals to 995 billion USD in year 2007. 

Chinese imports increased in correlation with its exports but in a faster pace. Even global financial crises could not slow down Chinese imports. In year 2012 Chinese imports reached to 1.818 billion USD levels. 

We see 90% increases on Chinese imports between 2007 and 2012.

US and Chinese Imports 2007-2012
US Imports: In year 2007, total amount of US imports were slightly higher than 2.000 billion USD. In 2012 US imports reached to 2.336 billion USD level. This makes only 15% increases on US imports between 2007 and 2012. 

This result may be the direct effect of global financial crises. FED pushed huge amount of money to the market in an effort to rescue US economy which leads to a weaker US currency that eventually makes it harder to import goods in to USA. 

The Biggest Trading Nation: USA or China?

In 2007, total Chinese exports and imports were around 69% of US total exports and imports. Since 2007 both Chinese exports and imports have been rising more rapidly than US exports and imports.

As a result of rapid increase of Chinese international trade, the difference between total trade volumes of USA and China are getting smaller each year.

In 2012 trade volumes of each country were almost equal.(see below chart)

The Biggest Trading Nation: USA or China?
Balance of Trade: Trade deficit or trade surplus

Balance of trade is an important indicator in international trade. It shows us how healthy and sustainable a country’s imports and exports are.

In the long run no country can sustain with an ongoing trade deficits.

In a situation, where one country's imports exceed its exports we talk about trade deficit. (imports > exports = trade deficit)

On the contrary, if one country's exports exceed its imports (exports > imports = trade surplus), then the country faced with a trade surplus.

Possibly the biggest difference between Chinese international trade and US foreign trade is that China is making trade surpluses every year whereas US creates trade deficits without any exception.

On below table you can find both countries balance of trade figures from 2007 to 2012.

Balance of Trade: Trade deficit or trade surplus