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Adding Up China’s Phase-1 Trade Deal U.S. Import Shortfall

Taking Stock

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The six-month review of the U.S.-China phase-one trade deal is set to take place against a backdrop of rising acrimony, and the fact that Beijing’s purchases under the agreement continue to fall substantially short. Bloomberg Economics used detailed data from the U.S. Census Bureau to quantify the shortfall: If China were on a straight-line track to hit its target, exports from the U.S. of goods listed under the agreement would have hit $71 billion over the first half of the year. Yet, in part due to the Covid-19 shock, they languished at $33.1 billion -- only marginally above the $32.5 billion recorded in the first six months of 2019.