Christmas Lights Shine A Light On Shifting Trade Patterns

If you are looking for a product that illuminates the shift in manufacturing taking place in Asia as a result of the U.S.-China tariff war, Peter Sand, the chief shipping analyst for BIMCO, suggests looking at U.S. imports of Christmas tree lights.

“Cambodia is basically taking over in supplying the U.S. with Christmas tree lights,” he said. In the first 10 months of 2019, China shipped 113 million fewer sets of Christmas tree lights to the U.S. than it did the prior year — a 66.1% drop from the same 2018 period.

In the first 10 months of 2019, when compared to the same 2018 period, U.S. imports of Christmas lights from all countries were down only 4.3%, but imports from Cambodia have increased 223% and Asian countries other than China and Cambodia are up 100.7%.

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