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How Sensitive Are Latin American Exports to Chinese Competition in the U.S. Market?


  • Ernesto Lopez-Cordova


  • Alejandro Micco


  • Danielken Molina



This paper estimates the elasticity of substitution of U.S. imports using detailed trade data over the 1990-2003 period. The authors use a two-stage least squares framework in order to identify the elasticity parameter of interest. The authors use the elasticity estimates to assess the extent to which Latin American and Chinese goods compete in the U.S. market by providing forecasts of how alternative policy scenarios may affect exports to the United States. The analysis considers the following scenarios: (i) currency revaluation in China; (ii) elimination of U.S. tariffs on Latin American exports under a hemispheric free trade agreement; and (iii) the elimination of quotas on apparel and textile exports under the Multi-Fiber Agreement. The findings show that a 20-percent appreciation of the renminbi reduces Chinese exports to the United States by a fifth, although since other regions increase sales to that market (0.5 percent for Latin America), U.S. imports decline by only 1.7 percent. Hemispheric free trade would increase Latin America's exports to the United States by around 3 percent. The removal of the quotas would lead to a sharp increase in Chinese sales to the United States (40 percent), but Latin America would see its share of the U.S. market decline by around 2 percent (2.5 percentage points). China's gains would come mainly at the expense of other regions of the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto Lopez-Cordova & Alejandro Micco & Danielken Molina, 2008. "How Sensitive Are Latin American Exports to Chinese Competition in the U.S. Market?," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 117-153, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008610

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
    2. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Flückiger & Markus Ludwig, 2015. "Chinese export competition, declining exports and adjustments at the industry and regional level in Europe," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 1120-1151, August.
    2. Majlesi, Kaveh, 2016. "Labor market opportunities and women's decision making power within households," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 34-47.
    3. Roberto Álvarez & Sebastián Claro, 2006. "The china price: evidence and some implications," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 33(2 Year 20), pages 117-140, December.
    4. Larry D. Qiu & Chaoqun Zhan, 2016. "Special Section: China's Growing Trade and its Role to the World Economy," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 45-71, February.
    5. Álvarez, Roberto & Claro, Sebastián, 2009. "David Versus Goliath: The Impact of Chinese Competition on Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 560-571, March.
    6. Xiaodong Lu & Ronglin Li, 2010. "South-South cooperation: is there a foundation in trade?," Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 221-234, October.
    7. Torre Cepeda, Leonardo E. & Ramos, Luis Fernando Colunga, 2015. "Patterns of TFP growth in Mexico: 1991–2011," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 398-420.
    8. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson, 2010. "China and the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Countries," NBER Chapters,in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 137-159 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Torre Cepeda Leonardo E. & Colunga Ramos Luis Fernando, 2015. "Patterns of Total Factor Productivity Growth in Mexico: 1991-2011," Working Papers 2015-24, Banco de México.

    More about this item


    Trade elasticities; trade policy; United States; China; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade


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