US tariffs lead to decrease in Chinese imports

The tariffs now cover about $250 billion in Chinese goods.
The U.S. and Chinese flags
The U.S. and Chinese flags
(Fred Dufour / Getty Images)

United States tariffs have led to a sharp decrease in Chinese imports since the Trump administration imposed them in 2018 and 2019.

In 2018, nearly two-thirds of all imports from China were hit by U.S. tariffs. As of 2021 about half of all Chinese exports were subject to the tariffs, according to .The Wall Street Journal.

Since 2018, the U.S. has bought less from China and more from other nations including Vietnam. U.S. imports of semiconductors from Vietnam, for example, increased by over $3 billion, while China lost over $5 billion in that market.

"If the goal was to reduce imports from China, then it succeeded," said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council. "If the goal was to increase imports from other countries in Asia or increase manufacturing employment in Vietnam, it's succeeded."

Chinese companies that export telecom and computer equipment each lost over $15 billion since 2018 when the tariffs went into effect, while those that export cell phones lost roughly $10 billion.