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China Dethroned as America’s Primary Source of Imported Goods


China Dethroned as America’s Primary Source of Imported Goods

The global health emergency led to a decline in US enthusiasm for Chinese imports. Investigations revealed that China amassed medical supplies while downplaying the virus’s seriousness to the international community. Additionally, allegations have surfaced against the Chinese government, including theft of intellectual property, threats of military confrontation with the US, and accusations of genocide, among other grievances.

Former President Donald Trump promised that America would enhance its self-reliance in response to the crisis, a policy that President Joe Biden has continued. A recent report illustrates the significant distance America has since traveled from its economic ties with China.

Recently, the US Commerce Department disclosed that the worth of goods imported from Mexico to America surged by 5% from 2022 to 2023, reaching a sum exceeding $475 billion. Meanwhile, there was a stark decline of 20% in the value of goods imported from China, plummeting to only $427 billion during the same period. This development signifies a significant shift, marking the first instance in over two decades where Mexico has surpassed China as the top importer to the US. The last occurrence of this was noted in 2002.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) suggested that this milestone would pose challenges for the US in attempting to shut its border with Mexico, alluding to a recent US Senate bill proposed by the GOP, which was ultimately rejected. He dismissed notions of an imminent border closure, remarking, “The businesses wouldn’t take it, maybe one day, but not a week.”

Derek Scissors, an expert on China from the American Enterprise Institute, highlighted that the most notable decline in trade occurred in the pharmaceuticals and electronics industries. He expressed skepticism about the possibility of a swift recovery for the US in those sectors in 2024 and 2025.

This is particularly significant because both former President Donald Trump and Joe Biden have endeavored to reduce the US’s reliance on China for pharmaceutical resources, particularly in light of the pandemic’s impact. Shortages of medications and their components arose when China suspended operations at its plants, prompting lawmakers to address the issue of foreign dependency with greater urgency.

In addition to the challenges posed by China, there’s a straightforward logistical advantage to sourcing from Mexico. Given that Mexico shares a border with the US, shipping costs are significantly lower compared to those from China, which is located across oceans and seas.

Scissors also expressed his belief that corporate America has come to the conclusion that China is an unreliable partner. The authoritarian regime’s actions consistently demonstrate its lack of trustworthiness, leading to doubts about its reliability.

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