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Trade Balance: Numbers Can be Deceiving

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  • Yuefen Li

Abstract

Trade disputes have become more prevalent and acute in recent years. Almost all center on bilateral trade balance and/or market access of certain merchandise or services. However, since at least the mid 1980s, affiliate sales have become a more direct and more powerful form of market access than the traditional cross-border commercial transactions for developed countries, whereas developing countries still rely predominantly on traditional trade. The importance of the international production supply chain is increasing with a bias against downstream producers. The current data collection and compilation system of trade balance can not reflect these changes in the world economic environment. It overstates exports of developing countries and understates their imports. None of the countries in the world can illustrate the weakness of the conventional system better than China. Copyright 2006 Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuefen Li, 2006. "Trade Balance: Numbers Can be Deceiving," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(3), pages 54-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:chinae:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:54-70
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    Cited by:

    1. Yiping Xu & Guijun Lin & Huayu Sun, 2010. "Accounting for the China-US Trade Imbalance: An Ownership-Based Approach," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 540-551, August.
    2. Françoise Lemoine & Deniz Ünal-Kesenci, 2008. "Rise of China and India in International Trade: From Textiles to New Technology," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 16(5), pages 16-34.
    3. Françoise Lemoine, 2010. "Past Successes and New Challenges: China's Foreign Trade at a Turning Point," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(3), pages 1-23.

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