WASHINGTON -- The latest trade data has showed that America benefited a lot from the service trade with China, said a commentary carried by Tuesday's The Wall Street Journal.
"The US trade deficit with China is such a hot political issue in Washington these days that it's easy to forget the gains America reaps from doing business with China," said the article, adding the latest trade data on services make for enlightening reading.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that America's service sector had a US$3.7 billion trade surplus with China last year.
However, in 2005 the surplus was US$2.4 billion dollars, up from US$515 million in 1992.
US service exports cover a wide range of economic activities, from parcel shipping to investment banking. Education is one of America's top service exports (a US$1 billion surplus), said the article.
China is now the ninth largest purchaser of American services. According to a study prepared late last year by Oxford Economics for the US-China Business Council, America's service-trade surplus could reach 15 billion dollars a year by 2015.
"We've long argued that the bilateral trade statistics are meaningless as a sign of economic strength or weakness," said the commentary. "They can be harmful if politicians use them to justify protectionist policies."
"The real meaning of the US-China trade figures is that millions of consenting adults are doing a booming business -- in services as well as goods," the commentary added.