NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Trade with China Is Good for the United States

March 31, 2011

Trade with China, like trade with the rest of the world, enlarges markets for U.S. companies and blesses American consumers with more competition, innovation and lower prices, while promoting peace and spreading American influence and values abroad, says Daniel Griswold, director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute.

  • Of the $365 billion worth of goods Americans imported from China in 2010, more than three-quarters were consumer products that make our lives better every day at home and the office.
  • For American companies and their workers, China remains the fastest growing major market for U.S. exports.
  • Exports to China in 2010 jumped 30 percent from the year before, increasing far faster than exports to the rest of the world.
  • More than a third of our exports to China are supplied by small and medium-sized enterprises employing 500 or fewer workers.
  • As the Chinese middle class expands, it becomes not only a bigger market for U.S. goods and services, but also more fertile soil for political and civil freedoms.

China hawks warn that the nation's rising wealth is funding a military machine that will soon challenge American influence in the region.  In fact, while China's military is growing stronger, the country's deepening economic ties to the United States and to its neighbors are helping to keep the peace in the East Pacific.  Our expanding commercial relationship with China is reshaping that nation in a way that marks another milestone in the gradual, sometimes halting global advance of property rights, free and open markets, and the development of a civil society independent of government domination, says Griswold. 

Source: Daniel Griswold, "Deal with the Dragon," Cato Institute, March 29, 2011.

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