U.S. exports to China and Hong Kong fell 7.4% and 6.2%, respectively, between 2017 and 2018, the only two top 10 U.S. markets in which exports declined during that year.
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“The trade battles with China hit US goods exporters in 2018. Services exports increased, but at a slower pace than in previous years. Despite these challenges, China continued to be important to US economic growth, supporting more than 1.1 million jobs.
“China is the third-largest market for US goods and services exports. Despite trade friction and punitive tariffs, China remained a top market for US goods exports in 2018, with only NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico buying more goods last year. It was also the third-largest market for US services exports, after the United Kingdom and Canada.
“The world is waiting to see whether a trade agreement between the United States and China will address tariffs and other trade issues. A rollback of at least some of the tariffs imposed by both governments is expected, though it is not yet clear how many products will receive relief. In addition, China may reportedly commit to purchase additional US goods worth more than $1 trillion over the next six years. These factors may increase the volume of US goods exports to China in 2019.”