US trade deficit with China narrows, as effects of trade war-induced export front-loading begin to fade



Finbarr Bermingham | South China Morning Post

The United States’ trade deficit with China narrowed in November, led by a decline in imports of consumer goods such as cars and mobile phones.

The latest data from the US Department of Commerce, which had been delayed by the long-running government shutdown, will be well-received by US President Donald Trump, who has railed against the perceived lopsided US trading relationship with China.

For decades, China has sold a far greater volume of goods to the US than it bought, leading Trump to declare on the presidential campaign trail in 2016: “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing.”