China market growing for US companies

Updated: 2011-08-18 09:39

By Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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China market growing for US companies
Medical devices imported from US-based General Electric Co at a hospital in Heilongjiang province. Total US exports to China rose from $16.2 billion to $91.9 billion during the last decade.[Photo/China Daily]

WASHINGTON - US trade ties with the world's second-largest economy have made vital contributions to the US economy, a new report states.

According to the US-China Business Council's (USCBC) annual US Congressional District Exports to China report released on Wednesday, out of 435 congressional districts, 333 districts had higher growth in exports to China in 2010 than to any other part of the world.

The USCBC is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of 240 US-based companies that do business with China.

Between 2000 and 2010, 408 congressional districts, or 94 percent, witnessed triple-digit growth in exports to China, the report says.

"Exports to China are a vital part of the US economy," said USCBC Vice-President Erin Ennis in a statement.

"China is our third-largest export market and is growing faster than many of our other major destinations for American manufactured goods and agricultural products."

As a buyer of US goods, China ranks behind Canada and Mexico, which have a free trade agreement with the US.

The top US exports to China are electronics, agricultural products, chemicals, transportation equipment and machinery.

Total US exports to China from 2000 to 2010 rose from $16.2 billion to $91.9 billion, up 468 percent, while US exports to the rest of the world increased only 55 percent.

To spur the US economic recovery after the 2008 financial crisis, the Obama administration announced a National Export Initiative in January 2010. It aims to double total US exports by 2014 and targets a 15 percent annual growth rate over five years.

In 2010, exports to China rose 32 percent, faster than any of the US' top five export destinations.

"Exports to China contributed to growth and jobs in almost all congressional districts," Ennis said. "Even in states that have had a mixed export story over the previous eight years - such as Maine, Wisconsin and Tennessee - exports from congressional districts to China generally rose faster than those to the rest of the world."

But the organization also found that despite the substantial increase in US exports to China, the US share of imports into China has fallen to 7 percent from 10 percent in 2000.

The US is now the fifth-largest source of shipments into the Chinese mainland, behind Japan, the European Union, South Korea and Taiwan.

"A worthy sub-goal of President (Barack) Obama's National Export Initiative should be to reclaim a 10 percent share of China's imports by 2014," the report says.

It suggests that the US Foreign Commercial Service should help small and medium-sized companies find more export opportunities, the US Export-Import Bank should make support of US exports to China its top priority and the Office of the US Trade Representative should "understand and remove" market access barriers that restrict US exports to China.

It also calls for US local governments to further engage with their counterparts in China.

Hundreds of Chinese businessmen and officials traveled to Utah last month, when more than 22 deals worth $3.2 billion were signed.