Increase U.S. competitiveness in trade with China and India
The U.S.-China trade relationship is increasingly important, due to China’s rising middle class and China’s growth as a leading global economy and trading partner. While there is a range of issues that undermine competitiveness of U.S. businesses in China – including market access and intellectual property rights enforcement – it is essential that attempts to mitigate these barriers do not undermine the progress made on strong two-way trade between our countries.
China is Washington state’s top trading partner. It was the destination for $19.4 billion in Washington goods in 2015, which is more than 22% of Washington exports. In fact, Washington exports to China grew almost 600 percent from 2004 to 2013! China is the largest source of foreign students for Washington colleges and universities, and the fastest growing source of our international tourists. In addition, many Washington retail, apparel and manufacturing companies leverage China as a key part of their global supply chain, and many Chinese imports destined for the rest of the country flow through our ports – providing jobs not only at our airports and seaports but also in freight support service businesses.
The Obama Administration has highlighted U.S.-India relations as a top priority, in part due to the growing U.S.-India trade relationship. In fact, U.S. exports to India have increased 200% over the past decade, thanks partly to India’s average GDP growth rate of 7.8 percent over that period and a rapidly expanding middle class. The world’s largest democracy – with a population of 1.25 billion – holds great potential for U.S. companies, although significant restrictions on market access, intellectual property infringements and foreign investment barriers still must be addressed.
Overall, Washington exports to India have been growing, 17% over the past 5 years. However, there is tremendous opportunity for even more trade growth with India; while India is the 7th largest economy in the world, it ranks as far down as 23rd on the list of top destinations for Washington exports. Washington could increase its trade with India if the country makes more progress on enforcing intellectual property rights and opening its market to our products and investment.
Washington state’s economy is increasingly dependent on a successful U.S.-China and U.S.-India trade relationship, and it is essential that we support productive efforts to increase our competitiveness with these two countries. Moving forward, the best way to achieve sustainable, competitive U.S.-China and India trade partnerships is through fairly enforcing existing rules and engaging in productive dialogue to increase mutually beneficial trade and economic collaboration.
For more information on these issues, including policy recommendations, view WCIT’s factsheets on the importance of increased competitiveness in trade with China and India.
Join WCIT in supporting successful U.S.-China and U.S. India trade relationships. To learn how you can get involved, contact Eric Schinfeld at email@example.com or 206.389.7273.