Travel from China to the U.S. fell 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) data first reported by The Associated Press (A.P.). It was the first time in 15 years that Chinese travel to the U.S. declined on a YoY basis.
A deepening trade war between the U.S. and China is one of the main reasons behind the travel slowdown. President Trump began the trade war by first imposing tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines in January 2018, and the trade war has since intensified.
Earlier this month, Trump increased the tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from10%, while China retaliated with 25% tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports. Trump’s latest move has targeted Chinese tech companies, by outright banning their sales of telecommunication products to U.S. companies. In response, Beijing has since warned it might impose an export ban on rare-earth metals, which could create supply-chain issues for American producers of everything from microchips, to batteries, to night-vision goggles.