China isn’t the top source of U.S. imports for first time in 2 decades – How the relationship soured

TheStreet’s J.D. Durkin brings the latest business headlines from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as markets close for trading Thursday, February 8.

Full Video Transcript Below:

I’m J.D. Durkin, reporting from the New York Stock Exchange. Here’s what we’re watching on TheStreet today.

Investors are reacting to weekly jobless claims; 218,000 Americans filed for unemployment during the week ending on February 3rd, down from 227,000 the week prior, underscoring the continued strength of the labor market.

Markets are also reacting to results from Disney. The media and entertainment giant saw a boost after beating Wall Street expectations and raising its guidance for 2024. So far, this earnings season has been mostly better than expected, boosting investors’ confidence in the health of the U.S. economy.

In other news, for the first time since 2002, China is no longer the leading source of goods imported by the United States. As tensions continue to rise between the U.S. and China, Mexico has taken the top spot. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, more than $475 billion worth of goods were imported from Mexico in 2023, a 5 percent increase from 2022. Meanwhile, the value of Chinese imports shrank by 20 percent to $427 billion.

The economic relationship between the U.S. and China has soured over the past few years. President Donald Trump imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese imports in 2018, claiming Beijing violated various global trade regulations. President Joe Biden kept those tariffs in place when he took office in 2021. Supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic also caused the U.S. to look for trade partners closer to home.

In 2023, the U.S. trade deficit – which measures the difference between what is bought and what is sold abroad – saw its biggest decrease since 2009, with a 19 percent drop. The overall trade deficit now sits at $1.06 trillion.

That’ll do it for your daily briefing. From the New York Stock Exchange, I’m J.D. Durkin with TheStreet.

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