• Thomas Russell

Trade deficit with China continues to rise

Furniture contributes to gap between imports and exports

WASHINGTON – U.S. Census figures show that the overall trade deficit with China continued to be an issue in 2016, narrowing only slightly to $347 billion, from $367.2 billion the year before.

During the first four months of the year, it was already at $106.5 billion, signaling another banner year for China exports and continued debate – and likely tweets - from President Trump on China’s continued impact on the U.S. economy.

While industry officials believe furniture will be under the radar, it still contributes to the overall trade deficit. According to the latest figures compiled by Furniture Today, China shipped $13.6 billion in household furniture to the U.S. last year, up from $13.3 billion in 2015. This includes a mix of wood furniture, metal furniture and upholstery, all of which were in the top categories of products shipped to the U.S. market.

China also is one of the largest international customers for U.S.-made furniture. Still the furniture trade deficit with China was significant over the past two years: $13.5 billion in 2016 and $13.2 billion in 2015.

In the coming weeks, Furniture Today will look at how the overall deficit has changed in the industry in recent several years, and we would live to hear your take on the issue. Email your thoughts to Tom Russell at trussell@furnituretoday.com or call directly at 336-605-3815.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, Furniture Today

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.


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