Mexico Surpasses China as USA’s Largest Trade Partner
By: Asia Business Outlook Team | Thursday, 08 February 2024
According to figures released by the US Commerce Department on February 7, the value of goods imported to the United States from Mexico increased by nearly 5% from 2022 to 2023, reaching over US$475 billion. On the other hand, the value of Chinese imports fell 20% to US$427 billion in the same period. The last time Mexican imports exceeded Chinese imports was in 2002.
In recent years, economic relations between the United States and China have deteriorated significantly. This is because Beijing has taken an aggressive stance on trade and made military gestures in the Far East, resulting in tensions between the two nations. As a result, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018, alleging that China's trade practices violated global trade rules. President Joe Biden retained these tariffs after taking office in 2021, indicating that both Democrats and Republicans hold a common ground of antagonism towards China.
In response to offshoring production to China, which US corporations have been doing for a long time, the Biden administration has recommended that companies either seek suppliers in allied countries, which is known as "friend-shoring", or bring manufacturing back to the United States, which is called "reshoring". The COVID-19 pandemic also led to supply chain disruptions, prompting US companies to look for supplies closer to the United States, which is known as "near-shoring".