Economic trends for the United States and China

The U.S. and Chinese economies together account for 40% of the world’s productivity.  Both countries are each other’s largest trading partner, and their goods and services are also consumed around the world. China, however, has fueled its growth with various forms of state subsidies and incentives. The U.S. does this to a lesser degree. But China’s expanding exports and persistent growth have led to a trade deficit of $375 billion with the United States. President Donald Trump has accused China of “raping” the United States and blamed the country for “the greatest theft in the history of the world.”

Announcements of new U.S. tariffs imposed on Chinese goods have led to uncertainty in financial markets in recent weeks.

The United States is also concerned about the economic impact of China’s ambitious One Belt One Road Initiative. President Xi Jinping has pledged about $900 billion to fund the trade and infrastructure program. Described as a modern version of the Silk Road, the scheme will connect 70 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania to China with state of the art infrastructure opening and improving trade routes. It includes ports in the Mediterranean, high-speed railways in Africa and gas pipelines in Central Asia.

While it’s difficult to say what any trade war between the United States and China might bring, WikiTribune wants to visualize the data that underpins the economies of both countries. Most importantly, we’re seeking to answer the following questions:

  1. With respect to both China and the United States, what can we learn by looking at gross domestic product, trade and debt figures?
  2. How are the domestic economies of both countries faring? This would include consumption and production.
  3. What are the expectations of any return on investment on the One Belt One Road Initiative? For example, how is the debt to China from the investments serviceable?

Please suggest any particular data sources you would like us to include.

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