As the Economist notes in this week’s issue, America has become too focused on China as the root of all economic evil in the States. There are other issues which contribute to America’s large and growing trade deficit.
At the global level, the biggest counterpart to America’s deficit is the combined surpluses of the oil-exporting emerging economies. They are expected to run a total current-account surplus of some $500 billion this year, dwarfing China’s likely surplus of $200 billion.
They also make an excellent point about perspective. While China’s trade surplus is huge, it is equivalent to only 8% of GDP, while the Gulf states are averaging surpluses of 30%.