Broad US export growth to China: report

Updated: 2011-08-18 07:47


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WASHINGTON - Exports to China rose broadly across the United States last year, the US-China Business Council said in annual report aimed at reducing anti-China trade sentiment in Congress.

"In 2010, exports to China rose 32 percent - faster than export growth to any of the US top five export destinations. Even in states that 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 the rest of the world," the report said.

China is now the third largest export market for the United States, behind Canada and Mexico. In the decade since Beijing joined the World Trade Organization, US exports to China have risen 468 percent to $91.9 billion, compared to a 55 percent rise in US exports to the rest of the world.

Still, many lawmakers focus on imports from China, which have also risen dramatically and totaled $364 billion last year. The resulting $273 billion US trade deficit with China set a record, fueling complaints in Congress that Beijing's trade and currency practices violate global trade rules.

The report examined US Census Bureau county export data for each of the 435 congressional districts represented in the US House of Representatives.

It found that exports to China rose last year in 404 districts, a statistic the US-China Business Council hopes will make lawmakers think twice before voting for trade legislation that could prompt Beijing to retaliate.

California's 42nd congressional district, east of Los Angeles, topped the list with an estimated $4.63 billion of exports to China last year, including computers and electronics, machinery, transportation equipment, other manufactured goods and chemicals, the report said.

California, Washington, Texas, Louisiana and Oregon are the five states that export the most to China, so not surprisingly districts in those states showed the biggest sales.

Although US exports to China have boomed over the last 10 years, the US share of that fast-growing import market has actually fallen to 7 percent, from 10 percent in 2000.

The US-China Business Council urged President Barack Obama's administration to set a goal of raising that back to 10 percent as part of its wider effort to double US exports to more than $3 trillion by 2014.