Big Tent Ideas

TERENCE P. JEFFREY: Why Does The US Import Billions From A Genocidal Communist Regime?

Feng Li/Getty Images

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

The United States in 2023 imported $427.2 billion in merchandise from the People’s Republic of China, a nation that the U.S. government reports is ruled by a communist regime that is engaging in genocide.

Because the United States exported only $147.8 billion in merchandise to China in 2023, according to the numbers published by the U.S. Census Bureau, the $427.2 billion this country imported from China resulted in a bilateral trade deficit of $279.4 billion.

That was the largest bilateral trade deficit the United States ran with any nation last year.

It was also 83.3% larger than the $152.4 billion trade deficit that the United States ran with Mexico — which was the only country the United States imported more goods from in 2023 ($475.6 billion) than China.

Ten of the top 33 items that the U.S. imported from individual countries in 2023 came from China, according to the Census Bureau data.

The top U.S. bilateral import from any nation was Canadian crude oil. Americans paid $92.53 billion for that product in 2023.

The second largest was “cell phones and other household goods” from China. Americans paid $67.19 billion for those.

In fact, the $67.19 billion that Americans spent importing “cell phones and other household goods” from China in 2023 was more than the $64.3 billion they spent on all imports from the United Kingdom — or the $57.6 billion they spent on all imports from France.

The second most Americans spent for an import from China — $37.44 billion — went to “computers.” That was followed by Chinese “toys, games and sporting goods” ($32.2 billion); Chinese “electric apparatus” ($23.45 billion); Chinese “apparel, textiles, nonwool or cotton” ($19.63 billion); Chinese “computer accessories” ($15.67 billion); Chinese “other parts and accessories of vehicles” ($14.59 billion); Chinese “household appliances” ($13.79 billion); Chinese “telecommunications equipment” ($12.47 billion); and Chinese “furniture, household goods, etc.” ($11.71 billion).

On Dec. 11, Beth Van Schaack, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for Global Criminal Justice, gave a speech at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C. “We recognize the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity being committed by authorities of the People’s Republic of China against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and members of other ethnic and religious groups in Xinjiang,” she said.

“Careful, comprehensive and robust documentation of these atrocities is what made the U.S. atrocity determination possible,” she said. “This documentation is overwhelming and credible, and it is ongoing.”

Van Schaack was stating a point the State Department has made repeatedly over the past three years.

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as this column has noted before, declared on Jan. 19, 2021: “I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.” (RELATED: TERENCE P. JEFFREY: When The 49ers–And Bob Dylan, Neil Young And The Grateful Dead–Played On A High School Field)

Antony Blinken, testifying at his 2021 confirmation hearing to become secretary of state, said he agreed with Pompeo.

In a speech Blinken delivered at George Washington University on May 26, 2022, he again stated that China was committing genocide. “The United States stands with countries and people around the world against the genocide and crimes against humanity happening in the Xinjiang region, where more than a million people have been placed in detention camps because of their ethnic and religious identity,” said Blinken.

The State Department’s country report on human rights in China for 2022, which was published in March 2023, said: “Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.”

It also cited “credible reports” of “trafficking in persons, including forced labor; severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing; and child labor.”

On May 24, 2023, the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party published a report that stated: “The perpetrators of the CCP’s genocide continue to commit atrocities in the XUAR and have not been held sufficiently accountable for their actions.”

“Eyewitness testimony, leaked PRC government documents, and other evidence shows a clear link between government and party decision making and the crimes against humanity and genocide being committed against the Uyghurs and other minorities,” the report said.

The trade that takes place between the United States and China is not free trade — which can only take place between free countries.

Congress needs to take action that will effectively stop the People’s Republic of China — which is ruled by a genocidal, communist regime — from being one of America’s top sources of imports.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the investigative editor of the Daily Caller News Foundation. To find out more about Terence P. Jeffrey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact