Policy Analysis | April 2018

SLC - China Trade Data

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

With the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China have much to lose in the event of prolonged trade disruptions between the two countries. In 2017, the total number of goods traded between the United States and China amounted to approximately $636 billion, a large majority of which consisted of Chinese goods entering the U.S. market.

Southern states rely heavily on China as a major export market, as well as a critical source for many of the goods that are imported into the region. In 2017, nine of the 15 states in the South — including Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina and Missouri — were among the top 20 recipients, nationally, of Chinese goods imported into the United States. Similarly, nine states in the South — including Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida — ranked in the top 20 in the number of goods exported to China.

In the Southern region, exports to China comprised approximately 8.8 percent of the total, with relatively large variations existing among the states. In Alabama and South Carolina, for example, exports to China were 16.7 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, of all goods exported from those states in 2017. On the other hand, exports to China from Florida and Oklahoma amounted to 3.4 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, of their total. China was the largest export market for two states in the South, Louisiana and South Carolina, and among the top five markets for 11 other states in the region.

Reflecting national trends, states in the South imported from China significantly more than they exported, with Chinese goods accounting for approximately 20.6 percent of all imports in the Southern region. Arkansas had the largest share of imports originating from China in 2017, with 41.3 percent of goods coming from the country, followed by Tennessee at 30 percent. Louisiana, however, received 3.5 percent of its goods from China in 2017. Three states in the region — Alabama, Louisiana and West Virginia — were unique in that they had surpluses with China rather than deficits in 2017. China was the largest source of imported goods for nine of the 15 Southern states, and the second largest in four others.  

SLC Trade Data with China (2014 – 2017)

Percent of overall exports/imports noted in parenthesis

Alabama

Exports to China - 2nd largest export market
2017 – $3.6 billion (16.7%)
2016 – $3.3 billion (16.0%)
2015 – $3.1 billion (16.1%)
2014 – $3.1 billion (16.1%)

Imports from China - 5th largest source of imports
2017 – $2.2 billion (9.5%)
2016 – $1.9 billion (8.5%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (10.0%)
2014 – $2.0 billion (9.2%)

Arkansas

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $363 million (5.7%)
2016 – $275 million (4.8%)
2015 – $203 million (3.5%)
2014 – $437 million (6.4%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $3.8 billion (41.3%)
2016 – $3.1 billion (39.1%)
2015 – $2.6 billion (32.6%)
2014 – $2.5 billion (33.3%)

Florida

Exports to China - 7th largest export market
2017 – $1.9 billion (3.4%)
2016 – $1.2 billion (2.3%)
2015 – $1.1 billion (2.1%)
2014 – $1.2 billion (2.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $12.6 billion (16.7%)
2016 – $11.9 billion (16.2%)
2015 – $11.8 billion (16.1%)
2014 – $12.3 billion (17.1%)

Georgia

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.8 billion (7.6%)
2016 – $2.6 billion (7.2%)
2015 – $2.7 billion (6.9%)
2014 – $3.1 billion (7.8%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $22.2 billion (24.3%)
2016 – $18.5 billion (21.5%)
2015 – $19.8 billion (22.3%)
2014 – $18.7 billion (22.3%)

Kentucky

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $2.8 billion (9.1%)
2016 – $1.8 billion (6.0%)
2015 – $1.9 billion (7.0%)
2014 – $1.7 billion (6.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $8.1 billion (17.2%)
2016 – $5.9 billion (14.7%)
2015 – $6.1 billion (15.7%)
2014 – $6.9 billion (17.5%)

Louisiana

Exports to China - Largest export market
2017 – $8.0 billion (14.1%)
2016 – $8.0 billion (16.5%)
2015 – $6.6 billion (13.5%)
2014 – $8.4 billion (13.0%)

Imports from China - 7th largest source of imports
2017 – $1.3 billion (3.5%)
2016 – $1.2 billion (3.6%)
2015 – $1.3 billion (3.7%)
2014 – $1.3 billion (2.3%)

Mississippi

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $783 million (7.0%)
2016 – $564 million (5.4%)
2015 – $520 million (4.8%)
2014 – $644 million (5.6%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $3.9 billion (25.9%)
2016 – $4.3 billion (30.5%)
2015 – $3.9 billion (27.8%)
2014 – $3.2 billion (18.7%)

Missouri

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $926 million (6.5%)
2016 – $864 million (6.2%)
2015 – $876 million (6.4%)
2014 – $877 million (6.2%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $4.7 billion (25.1%)
2016 – $4.4 billion (25.3%)
2015 – $4.8 billion (26.1%)
2014 – $4.6 billion (24.9%)

North Carolina

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.4 billion (7.2%)
2016 – $2.2 billion (7.2%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (7.2%)
2014 – $2.7 billion (8.6%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $10.2 billion (21.6%)
2016 – $10.2 billion (21.6%)
2015 – $11.1 billion (21.6%)
2014 – $12.5 billion (23.6%)

Oklahoma

Exports to China - 7th largest export market
2017 – 223 million (4.1%)
2016 – 218 million (4.3%)
2015 – 166 million (3.2%)
2014 – 274 million (4.3%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $2.5 billion (26.1%)
2016 – $2.0 billion (23.7%)
2015 – $2.5 billion (22.6%)
2014 – $2.7 billion (19.5%)

South Carolina

Exports to China - Largest export market
2017 – $6.2 billion (19.3%)
2016 – $6.4 billion (20.5%)
2015 – $4.4 billion (14.3%)
2014 – $4.2 billion (14.2%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $6.6 billion (17.7%)
2016 – $5.9 billion (16.4%)
2015 – $5.9 billion (15.1%)
2014 – $5.6 billion (14.7%)

Tennessee

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.5 billion (7.5%)
2016 – $2.2 billion (7.0%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (6.8%)
2014 – $2.3 billion (7.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $23.7 billion (30.0%)
2016 – $23.7 billion (31.4%)
2015 – $27.2 billion (35.3%)
2014 – $25.4 billion (36.4%)

Texas

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $16.3 billion (6.2%)
2016 – $10.8 billion (4.7%)
2015 – $11.5 billion (4.6%)
2014 – $10.9 billion (3.8%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $42.7 billion (16.2%)
2016 – $36.6 billion (16.0%)
2015 – $41.0 billion (16.3%)
2014 – $45.5 billion (15.0%)

Virginia

Exports to China - 2nd largest export market
2017 – $1.7 billion (10.4%)
2016 – $1.6 billion (10.0%)
2015 – $1.6 billion (8.8%)
2014 – $2.0 billion (10.1%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $7.7 billion (26.3%)
2016 – $7.1 billion (27.3%)
2015 – $6.9 billion (27.6%)
2014 – $5.9 billion (24.1%)

West Virginia

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $532 million (7.5%)
2016 – $465 million (9.2%)
2015 – $456 million (7.8%)
2014 – $556 million (7.3%)

Imports from China - 3rd largest source of imports
2017 – $248 million (7.3%)
2016 – $177 million (5.3%)
2015 – $259 million (6.8%)
2014 – $279 million (7.3%)

SLC State Imports from China (2017)
National Ranking State Amount Percent of Total State Imports
2 Texas $42.7 billion 16.2
4 Tennessee $23.7 billion 30.0
5 Georgia $22.2 billion 24.3
11 Florida $12.6 billion 16.7
13 North Carolina $10.2 billion 21.6
16 Kentucky $8.1 billion 17.2
17 Virginia $7.7 billion 26.3
19 South Carolina $6.6 billion 17.7
20 Missouri $4.7 billion 25.1
23 Mississippi $3.9 billion 25.9
24 Arkansas $3.8 billion 41.3
28 Oklahoma $2.5 billion 26.1
32 Alabama $2.2 billion 9.5
36 Louisiana $1.3 billion 3.5
46 West Virginia $248 million 7.3
SLC State Exports to China (2017)
National Ranking State Amount Percent of Total State Exports
3 Texas $16.3 billion 6.2
4 Louisiana $8.0 billion 14.1
5 South Carolina $6.2 billion 19.3
10 Alabama $3.6 billion 16.7
12 Georgia $2.8 billion 7.6
13 Kentucky $2.8 billion 9.1
15 Tennessee $2.5 billion 7.5
16 North Carolina $2.4 billion 7.2
20 Florida $1.9 billion 3.4
22 Virginia $1.7 billion 10.4
27 Missouri $926 million 6.5
30 Mississippi $783 million 7.0
36 West Virginia $532 million 7.5
39 Arkansas $363 million 5.7
43 Oklahoma $223 million 4.1

Source: United States Census Bureau, State and Metropolitan Area Trade Data, 2017.