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The U.S.-China Bilateral Trade Balance: It'S Size And Determinants

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  • Wing Thye Woo
  • Robert Feenstra
  • Wen Hai
  • Shunli Yao

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

This paper has two aims. The first is to reduce the range within which the true U.S.-China bilateral trade deficit lies. The second is to identify the determinants of the bilateral trade deficit, and offer an assessment of their relative importance. We calculate a smaller range of values for the bilateral trade deficit than in previous studies, due to a new estimation method that takes advantage of our access to detailed Chinese Customs data at the commodity level. For example, the revised U.S.-China bilateral trade deficit is $15 billion to $20 billion in 1994, and $16 billion to $22 billion in 1995, compared to the official range of $8 billion to $30 billion, and $9 billion to $34 billion, respectively. The widening of the U.S.-China bilateral trade deficit in recent years reflected many factors. In our opinion, the two chief factors are (i) macroeconomic forces in the U.S. and China moving in opposite directions, causing their respective overall trade balance to move in opposite directions; and (ii) the accelerated relocation of production of U.S. imports from East Asia to China.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 989.

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Length: 49
Date of creation: 09 Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:98-9

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References

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  1. K. C. Fung, 1998. "Accounting for Chinese Trade: Some National and Regional Considerations," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 173-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sheffrin, Steven M. & Woo, Wing Thye, 1990. "Present value tests of an intertemporal model of the current account," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3-4), pages 237-253, November.
  3. Liu, Liang-Yn & Woo, Wing Thye, 1994. "Saving Behaviour under Imperfect Financial Markets and the Current Account Consequences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 512-27, May.
  4. repec:sae:niesru:v:149:y::i:1:p:30-52 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Alyson C. Ma, 2010. "Please Pass the Catch-Up: The Relative Performance of Chinese and Foreign Firms in Chinese Exports," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 475-509 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Catherine Co & Patricia Euzent & Thomas Martin, 2004. "The export effect of immigration into the USA," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 573-583.
  3. de Sousa, José & Poncet, Sandra, 2011. "How are wages set in Beijing?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 9-19, January.
  4. WEI, Shang-Jin & Liu, Ligang & Wang, Zhi & Woo, Wing T., 2000. "The China money puzzle: will devaluation of the yuan help or hurt the Hong Kong dollar?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 171-188, December.
  5. San Sau Fung & Marc Klau & Guonan Ma & Robert N. McCauley, 2006. "Estimation of Asian effective exchange rates: a technical note," BIS Working Papers 217, Bank for International Settlements.
  6. Zhi Wang & Mark Gehlhar & Shunli Yao, 2007. "A Globally Consistent Framework for Reliability-based Trade Statistics Reconciliation in the Presence of an Entrepôt," Trade Working Papers 22715, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  7. Li, You & Hewitt, C.N., 2008. "The effect of trade between China and the UK on national and global carbon dioxide emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1907-1914, June.
  8. Sebastián Claro, 2002. "Tariff and FDI Liberalization: What to Expect from China´s Entry into the WTO?," Documentos de Trabajo 209, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  9. Alyson Ma, 2006. "Export Spillovers to Chinese Firms: Evidence from Provincial Data," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 127-149.
  10. Fernald, John & Edison, Hali & Loungani, Prakash, 1999. "Was China the first domino? Assessing links between China and other Asian economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 515-535, August.
  11. Shunli Yao, 2007. "Chinese agricultural reform, the World Trade Organization and preferential trade negotiations," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, in: Studies in Trade and Investment - AGRICULTURAL TRADE - PLANTING THE SEEDS OF REGIONAL LIBERALIZATION IN ASIA, volume 60, pages 187-210 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  12. Paweł Młodkowski, 2009. "Poland’s Bilateral Foreign Trade Balances in 1993–2006," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 3(2), June.

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