U.S. imports of advanced technology products from China in the first seven months of the year fell by nearly $20 billion, the latest sign that the Trump administration’s trade policies are pushing U.S. businesses and households to look outside of China for high tech goods.
The U.S. imported $75.2 billion of high tech goods from China in the first seven months of 2019, down from $95.1 billion in the period a year earlier, according to data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department.
The data cover a large range of “leading edge” technology goods including computers, software, biotech, and electronics.
Total high tech imports were virtually unchanged at $277.1 billion in the January through July period compared with last year’s 276.9 billion. That’s an indication that U.S. purchasers have shifted away from China to other sources.
Exports of high tech goods to China have not declined much, despite China’s retaliatory tariffs. The U.S. sent $19.9 billion of advanced technology to China so far this year, down from $20.3 billion a year prior.
Technology comprises a large portion of the overall decline in U.S. purchases of Chinese goods. Total imports from China fell to $260.6 billion in the first seven months of 2019, down from $297.1 billion a year ago.
Taiwan appears to be a major beneficiary of the shift out of China. U.S. imports from Taiwan rose from $25.6 billion to $30.8 billion. Advanced technology imports rose from $5.7 billion to $8.9 billion. Tech imports from countries such as Vietnam and Pakistan that don’t get singled out in the Commerce Department report rose from $10.1 billion to around $17 billion.
The European Union has benefited as well. High tech imports from E.U. countries rose from $57.8 billion to nearly $66 billion. Tech imports from France jump 39 percent to $10.8 billion, accounting for nearly all of the increased imports from France compared to last year.