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Chinese import competition and the provisions for external debt financing in the US

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  • Mohammad M Rahaman

    (Saint Mary’s University)

Abstract

How does international competition originating from low-wage countries affect domestic financing capacity of firms in high-wage countries? In this article, we use China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) as a quasi-natural experiment to investigate the effects of trade-induced competition originating from China on the price and design of bank-loan contracts for firms in US manufacturing industries. We find that the elevated level of Chinese import competition in the US, following China’s WTO entry, is associated with a reduction in the overall cost of bank financing for import-competing US manufacturing firms, evidenced by lower spread, higher amount, longer maturity, and less restrictive non-price contract terms such as collateral and covenants. We show that such reduction in the external financing premiums of import-competing firms is the result of trade-induced productivity gains within firms and a reallocation of financing between firms towards more capital-intensive and technologically advanced firms. These results suggest that engaging in international business activities with a low-wage country via trade openness is likely to ease the provisions of external debt financing for firms in high-wage countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammad M Rahaman, 2016. "Chinese import competition and the provisions for external debt financing in the US," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(8), pages 898-928, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:47:y:2016:i:8:d:10.1057_s41267-016-0007-2
    DOI: 10.1057/s41267-016-0007-2
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