China Took Share as Global Producer of Goods Amid Pandemic

Washington, DC, August 22, 2022-For all the talk in Western capitals of reducing reliance on Chinese factories, China has in the past two years consolidated its position as the world’s dominant supplier of manufactured goods, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Though some of China’s gains in global markets may unwind as the effects of the pandemic fade, the trend nonetheless highlights just how hard it is to unplug from the world’s largest factory floor. Such ‘decoupling,’ as it is known in policy circles, is especially challenging as Chinese factories extend their reach into higher-end products like chips and smartphones and new technologies such as electric cars and green energy.

“The U.S. and some of its allies have grown wary of their dependence on China over concerns ranging from national security to the fragility of global supply chains. China has dismissed those concerns, but has its own reason to loosen ties to the West, namely a longstanding challenge of weaning itself off its own perceived overreliance on Western markets and leaning instead on spending at home to propel its economy to new heights.

“For now, China’s export boom might provide a short-term prop for growth as its economy labors under the government’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid-19 and a deflating property bubble.

“China’s share of global goods exports by value increased over the course of the pandemic, to 15% by the end of 2021 from 13% in 2019, according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which tracks global trade.

“Major competitors’ share of global exports shrank over the same period, suggesting China’s gains came at the expense of others. Germany’s share of global exports fell to 7.3% in 2021 from 7.8% in 2019; Japan’s share declined to 3.4% from 3.7%; and the U.S.’s share slipped to 7.9% from 8.6%.”