Here are the US states that could be hit hardest by the ‘tech cold war’

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images
  • Trade relations between the US and China have been deteriorating recently.
  • To get a sense of how a broader trade war could affect various states’ economies, we took a look at Census Bureau data on the total value of import and export trade each state has with China.
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Trade relations between the US and China have been deteriorating, with a nascent “tech cold war” and increasing tariffs and other measures on both sides threatening to escalate a broader trade war.

Trade with China is a big part of many state economies, and the increasing tensions between the two countries could hit supply chains and export-heavy industries especially hard.

To get a sense of which states could be most affected, we looked at the value of trade in goods with China across the country.

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The US Census Bureau publishes annual figures for the total amount of goods imported and exported in each US state and DC. The Bureau breaks out import and export volumes for the 25 biggest trading partners for each state.

China was among the top ten destinations for exports for every state except for North Dakota and the District of Columbia, and one of the top ten sources of imports to every state and DC.

Here’s the value of every state’s exported goods to China, in millions of dollars.

China exports state map

And here’s the value of every state’s imported goods from China. Most states had a higher dollar value of imports from China than exports to China:

China imports state map

The maps show that some states in particular have economies that rely heavily on trade with China. California, Texas, and Washington all had over $US16 billion in exported goods to China in 2018, and 14 states had over $US10 billion in imported goods. California stands out here, with a whopping $US161.2 billion in imports. Further disruption in the US-China trade relationship could have profound impacts on those state economies.