Suryadipta Roy is an associate professor of economics at High Point University in North Carolina.
Civilian aircraft, soybeans, motor vehicles and microchips are the biggest U.S. exports to China, and production of these goods is geographically concentrated. In the case of soybeans, 10 states produced 79 percent of the U.S. crop in 2016.
In the past, the study of international trade often focused on differences in labor, land and capital, as well as the distance between trading partners. But economists are increasingly looking at the role played by institutions, specifically those that enforce contracts and curb corruption.