Global trade grew at just 1 percent in 2019, down from 4 percent in 2018 and 6 percent in 2017.
It was the fourth worst performance in 40 years and the worst ever for a time not in recession.
China’s imports fell by $59 billion, the U.S.’s by $42 million during the year.
The trade war and China’s slowing economy drove more of its factories to relocate to Vietnam, which borders China and has cheaper labor costs.
Vietnam’s U.S. exports reached $66 billion in 2019, about a third of that total in clothing. The U.S. bought $6 billion more in cell phones from Vietnam last year and about $2 billion more each in furniture, telecommunications, and computer chips.
Even though the country of record has changed, however, many of the products are still being made by Chinese companies, with China reaping the benefits. Often, there is no change other than a “label on a box,” says Dane Chamorro, a partner at the consulting firm Control Risks.
Mexico saw the second biggest gain in exports to the U.S. after Vietnam.
Brazil exported $8 billion more in soybeans to China in 2018 while the U.S. farm economy was sandbagged by the trade war.
The U.S. also imported more goods from Mexico and Brazil last year.
Other countries in the region that are picking up business with the U.S. include Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.
TRENDPOST: The trade war and the coronavirus take the headlines and the blame for the loss and disruption of trade, but as we have long detailed, the global economic deceleration is the underlying cause that will have stronger and longer-lasting effects.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The blatant hypocrisy and mental derangement of the United States politicians who had launched a deadly war against Vietnam based on lies that killed over three million of its people, bombed the nation into ruin, poisoned the country with Agent Orange, and sent some 60,000 of its young men to die fighting a communist threat… but now, still a communist country, it’s okay to do big business with them.
 Yet, the history of United States regime change and natural resource exploitation is forgotten and/or dismissed in the American culture. Indeed, as evidenced by President Trump and Congress’s full support to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro, the president of oil-rich Venezuela, the business of America is war.

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