It's Official: China Is Eating Our Lunch

Muir Macpherson, Bloomberg The non-oil U.S. trade deficit with all countries except China has dropped 59 percent since 2005. Soaring U.S. spending on Chinese imports has almost erased that headway. The Chart Of The Day shows that China now accounts for 72 percent of the overall U.S. trade deficit in goods, excluding oil. The trade deficit with China has grown 55 percent since 2005. China’s growing trade surplus with the U.S. has focused the attention of lawmakers in Washington on Beijing’s trade practices and exchange rate policies. “China willfully disregards its international obligations and impedes fair commerce,” said Michigan Republican David Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, at a hearing Oct. 25. The Senate passed a bill Oct. 11, 63 to 35, whichsponsors say is designed to punish China for manipulating its currency. A similar bill has 230 co-sponsors in the House, a majority of that body. Still, House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, voted against a House bill last year targeting China’s currency practices. He called the Senate bill “dangerous” and said it “poses a very severe risk of a trade war.” President Barack Obama’s administration said it shares the goals of the Senate legislation but has concerns about its consistency with U.S. obligations under World Trade Organization agreements.