How much money does an American household save each year from the imported commodities from China? To what extent does the average American household benefit from China-US trade?
A senior Chinese journalist Wei Jing living in the US recently conducted a survey and did the math after US president Donald Trump signed a memorandum that imposes high tariffs on imports from China, revealing that the trade war will definitely cause negative impacts on millions of American families.
Wei took toys as an example. Thanks to the low labor costs, the toys made in China are generally sold at prices around $30 each. A mother of a set of twins in the US told Wei that if a toy is sold at more than $30, she is not likely to double the order for both of her children.
Based on conservative estimates, an American family could at least save $100 every year buying Chinese toys.
China-made Christmas trees are another kind of commodity which US citizens should be grateful for as well. Most of the Christmas trees in the country are produced in China. Wei said that she only spent $35 for a 2-meter-high Christmas tree, and the price included accessories. Given the minimum wage of around $10 per hour in some states, the price of such a tree will unavoidably go higher than $35 if it is manufactured in the US.
According to a supplier of major US retailers surnamed McRoy, American retailers prefer imported goods from China because of their low cost, which endows them with more flexibility in terms of pricing on the US market, hence more profits.
Direct imports are just part of the China-US trade model, and Chinese contributions to US families can be seen everywhere. Almost every state has China-invested companies, and Chinese companies even hired about 150,000 employees in the Rust Belt.
McRoy said that China has become a vital part in the supply chain of global commerce, adding that the speed, quality and volume of “made-in-china” items are all irreplaceable.
A report by the US-China Business Council indicated that maintaining trade between the two major countries can save each typical American household about $850 annually. Both Wei and McRoy believe that smooth trade cooperation between China and the US will save more for them.
“To start a trade war against China is not the best solution,” said McRoy.