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First of all, a certain part of the Sino-US trade is composed of the production and operation activities conducted by foreign invested enterprises, particularly the Asian and European enterprises in China. The products of these foreign invested enterprises are exported to the US market, mainly between the American citizens and the foreign citizens. Secondly, the Sino-us trade is contributed by some US-invested enterprises in China, on a considerable degree between the American citizens. In these two parts of the Sino-US trade, the Chinese citizens are only providing labor service. As the goods is circulating across the borders between China and the US, it belongs to the Sino-US trade in the current trade statistic system. In addition, the US-invested enterprises in China are also purchasing and selling products in China. As these trade sanctions are conducted among different “citizens”, or in a sense between American citizens and the Chinese citizens, but these trade sanctions are not circulating across the borders, so they are not categorized into the Sino-US trade in terms of the current trade statistics. It is evident that the Sino-US trade contains a certain part of the trade between non-Chinese citizens and American citizens and at the same time eliminates a certain part of the genuine trade between Chinese citizens and American citizens.
With the constant improvement of China’s reform and opening up, there will be more and more foreign invested enterprises in China engaged in production and operation activities and there will be more and more of the three trades as mentioned above, so the current Sino-US trade statistics deviate from the real scenario of the Sino-US citizen-to-citizen trade.
The real scenario
According to the above-mentioned three trade scenarios, adjustment of Sino-US trade data as indicated in the current customs statistics can bring it home to us that the Sino-US citizen-to-citizen trade keeps a basic balance.
In 2004 the Sino-US trade surplus shown in the statistics of China Customs reached 80.27 billion yuan, in which foreign invested enterprises contributed to a total export volume of 82.27 billion dollars and a total import volume of 23.33 billion dollars, bringing about a total trade surplus of 58.94 billion dollars with the US.
Besides, the US-invested enterprises sell a large quantity of goods in China. In 2004 the sales volume of the US-invested enterprises reached 75 billion dollars in the Chinese market. The sales volume in the Chinese market by the US-invested enterprises is tantamount to the US “Export” to China circumventing the tariff barrier after the values of the intermediate product input and Net income derived directly from the provision of services are deducted. Roughly estimated, this part of “export” should be worthy of 10 billion dollars.
In this way, in the Sino-US trade margins of 80.27 billion dollars as indicated in the statistics of China customs, if the foreign investment earnings out of the trade margins 58.94 billion dollars of the foreign invested enterprises and the US trade and more than 10 billion dollars of the “net export” of the US-invested enterprises in China to the Chinese citizens are deducted accordingly, the margins of the Sino-US citizen-to-citizen trade in 2004 was much larger than the 80.27 billion dollars as indicated in the statistics. If the foreign trade surplus with the US represented by China for the other Asian countries and the part of the products not made in China but purchased by the US-invested enterprises in China are taken into consideration in the Sino-US trade, it is not known yet whether the value increment of the export to the US by the Chinese citizens is surplus or not. However, it is a great pity that for the absence of the statistic data, it is out of the question for us to present the specific data.
In 2005 the Sino-US trade surplus as calculated in the statistics of China Customs reached 114.17 billion dollars. It is highly estimated that the foreign invested enterprise (the US-invested enterprises in China) enjoyed a total export volume of 107.9 billion dollars and a total import volume of 27.9 billion dollars, realizing the trade surplus of 80 billion dollars with the US; The “Net export” of the US-invested enterprises in China to the Chinese citizens was obviously higher than that of 2004.
if the foreign investment earnings out of the trade margins of the foreign invested enterprises and the US trade and the “net export” of the US-invested enterprises in China to the Chinese citizens are deducted accordingly, China’s trade surplus with the US almost left not much behind. If the transferred trade surplus from other Asian countries into China’s trade surplus with the US is taken into account, it is likely that Sino-US trade surplus leaves nothing to be calculated, or even a certain deficit instead.