China has been one of the top markets for U.S. exporters and represents huge potential for future opportunities for U.S. businesses, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The 19 Top Markets Reports released on Wednesday showed that China has ranked highly among top U.S. export markets in sectors from automotive parts, civil nuclear, building materials, construction equipment to education, financial technology, manufacturing technology and franchising.
Stefan Selig, U.S. undersecretary of commerce for international trade, described the report as "helping American business not only compete but win in the global marketplace".
An estimated 11.5 million U.S. jobs are supported by exports, according to the Commerce Department.
The reports released Wednesday are a part of the Top Markets Series, which was launched by the International Trade Commission under the Commerce Department in July 2015. The 2016 reports provided updated country rankings and analysis reflecting the latest industry, trade policy and global economic developments.
In the country analysis for aircraft part, the report said China is expected to be the world's largest single-country market for civil aircraft sales over the next 20 years. Boeing estimates that China will need to add more than 6,000 planes to its commercial fleet to meet traffic demand. Meanwhile, China's fleet of business jets, helicopters, training aircraft and other general aviation panes is expanding quickly.
On the building materials sector, the report said that although the Chinese economy is experiencing a slowdown, it is the world's largest construction market and will continue to provide a strong opportunity for U.S. building-products exporters.
The report also described civil nuclear sector growth in the next decade in China will ensure commercial opportunities for U.S. civil nuclear exporters. China ranks first in the world for the number of units under construction. In 2015, eight new reactors were connected to the grid.
China was the top market for U.S. education. In 2014-15, China sent 304,040 students to the U.S., up 10.8 percent from 2013-14. Chinese students make up 31 percent of all international students in the U.S..
While a growing middle class allows more Chinese families to send their children abroad for their tertiary education, future growth in the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. is tempered by the slowdown of China's economy, a devalued currency, and the shrinking number of college-age Chinese students, according to the report.
In the analysis on cloud computing, the report claimed that a complex and difficult regulatory environment and local competition makes China a challenging market.
"Entering or expanding into the Chinese market requires the capacity to navigate regulatory barriers and effectively manage an array of additional administrative, technical and operational costs. The Chinese market can be a lucrative one for U.S. companies with the in-country expertise, resources and commitment to tackle the market," it said.
It described the market as relatively nascent. Quoting Bain & Co, it said China's cloud computing market was worth $1.5 billion in 2013. However, that figure is expected to go up to $20 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of approximately 40 percent.
China has been one of the fastest-growing markets for U.S. exports. Bilateral trade between China and the U.S. reached $558.39 billion, making China the largest trade partner for the U.S., replacing Canada. U.S. was China's top export market and fourth-largest import market, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.
A study by the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation three years ago predicted that U.S. exports to China would reach $456 billion and produce 2.54 million jobs in the U.S. by 2022, an increase of 1.81 million over the comparable 2010 figure.
A McKinsey & Co study predicted that China will have a 630 million-member middle class by 2022, up from 230 million in 2012, a huge market coveted by multinationals.
Anti-trade rhetoric has been loud on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign trail, with candidates blasting the U.S.-China trade deficit.