Tariffs put in place by President Donald Trump have not only put pressure on the Chinese economy, they are also aiding China’s neighbors.
Imports from China are down by more than $50 billion compared with the first nine months of last year, a more than 13 percent decline. But imports from nearly every other Pacific Rim country are up, indicating that tariffs have pushed importers to seek other sources for goods that were being purchased for China.
The biggest beneficiary of the shift in the trade winds is Taiwan. Imports from Taiwan are up by more than 21 percent compared with last year. They are up more than 30 percent over the January through September 2017 period–prior to the imposition of the China tariffs.
The U.S. also imported more goods from South Korea, the Philippines, India, and Thailand.
The category of “other” countries, which the government uses to lump together smaller trading partners such as Vietnam, has ballooned $69 billion last year to $84.2 billion.
Diversifying the sources of goods purchased by U.S. consumers is beneficial for the economy and national security, staving off the dangers that can come from too much dependence on one country.