China remained on course to be more than 30 per cent short of its 2021 commitments under the phase-one trade deal with the United States with four months left, according to the latest analysis of trade data between the world's two largest economies.
The US and China signed their long-awaited deal in January 2020, and the terms outlined in the agreement took effect one month later, with China committed to buying an additional US$200 billion worth of goods and services over 2020-21, relative to 2017's levels.
But according to a report released by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) on Monday, China's purchases of US goods from January to August reached only 69 per cent of the year-to-date target based on Chinese import data, and only 62 per cent of the target based on US export data - the same figures seen in May.
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With only 4 months of purchase commitments left to go under the Phase One trade agreement, China is on pace to be more than 30% short of US goods it promised to buy in 2021.
Details, data & methodology: https://t.co/mqXxrlyQPx pic.twitter.com/wUf5SHIgxa
— Peterson Institute (@PIIE) September 27, 2021
"Through August 2021, China's total imports of covered products from the United States were US$89.4 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of US$129.9 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were US$70.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of US$113 billion," the report said.
According to the report, agriculture purchases under the phase-one trade deal reached 92 per cent of the 2021 commitment up until the end of August based on Chinese import data, and 89 per cent of the target based on US export data.
Purchases of covered manufactured goods reached 64 per cent of the eight-month target based on Chinese import data, and 61 per cent of the target based on US export data.
Energy purchases, meanwhile, showed that China met 56 per cent of the target based on Chinese import data, but just 42 per cent of the target based on US export data.
An earlier PIIE report in February, which similarly was compiled by economist Chad Bown, said that a large part of the phase-one trade deal that entered into force a year prior was a "failure", after US exports of phase-one goods to China in 2020 fell more than 40 per cent short of the target.
In August, China's trade surplus with the US rose to US$37.68 billion from US$35.43 billion in July. China's imports from the US rose by 33.27 per cent to US$14.04 billion in August, while exports rose by 15.52 per cent to US$51.72 billion, according to data from China's National Bureau of Statistics.
After about nine months of silence - despite the phase-one trade deal calling for top-level contact every six months - China and the US held three rounds of trade talks in May and early June. It is unclear when the next meeting will take place.
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