U.S. exports of manufactures rose by $123 billion (12 percent) in 2011, while Chinese exports grew much faster, by $302 billion (20 percent). As a result, Chinese global exports of manufactures of $1,798 billion were 57 percent larger than the $1,147 billion of U.S. exports, and on track to double U.S. exports by 2015. This continues the dramatic changing of places between the two largest exporters of manufactures since 2000, when U.S. exports were three times larger than Chinese exports.
More important for U.S. manufacturing production and jobs, however, were the sharp increases in the trade imbalances in 2011. The U.S. deficit rose by $48 billion (12 percent) and the Chinese surplus soared by $125 billion (23 percent). Based on value-added per worker, the increase in the U.S. deficit equated to a net trade-related loss of 200,000 to 400,000 manufacturing jobs, and a correspondingly lower level of production.