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Trade losses for the United States and China increase in the tens of billions of dollars

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He talks to reporters at the White House Oval Office on April 04, 2019 in Washington.

Chip Somodeville | Getty Images

There may be political winners and losers when it comes to the US-China trade war. But the latest data shows that economically, both countries are losing. And they can help explain why more is being said about the deal: Losses are rising in the tens of billions of dollars for the US and China.

Politically, President Donald Trump boasts that China has lost far more than the US in dollar terms. Compared to the first nine months of last year, trade data released on Tuesday showed US imports from China plummeting to $ 53 billion. Exports to the United States are down by only $ 1

4.5 billion.

Source: CNBC

But the US exports much less to China than it imports. So even a much smaller drop is a higher drop rate.

In the first nine months of the year, US exports to China decreased by 15.5% compared to the same period of the year, a larger decrease than the decrease by 13.5% for Chinese imports.

Source: CNBC

These averages mask real pain in individual industries. Compared to the first nine months of 2017, before the war began, exports of minerals and ores to China dropped by 65% ​​in 2019. Exports were 39% for forest products and 35% for livestock.

Source: CNBC

Meanwhile, US agricultural exports have fallen by $ 2 billion. The $ 5.8 billion decline in transportation technology exports is likely to be linked to a Boeing 737 problem. This would be a longer-lasting and deepening economic problem for the US if it reflects China's changing preferences for aircraft.

The good news: Some of the hardest hit industries can witness a sharp retreat if tariffs are calm and trade relations are warm. Some US industries may have already found new markets.

The danger is that Chinese customers have already found new suppliers, which means lasting damage to US exporters.

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