United States-China trade: where are the exports?
This paper empirically examines US goods trade with China, focusing on the performance of exports. Throughout the analysis, we explore whether US trade is unusual by contrasting it with trade from Japan and the EU-15. The issue is examined from three perspectives: the commodity composition of exports, the role of multinational firms, and the estimation of a set of 'gravity equations' that explore the role of market size and distance from the United States. We find that the commodity composition of trade with China is not distorted, nor can the low level be related to an unusual role of US multinationals in China. Instead, distance does seem to exert a surprisingly large effect on trade. Finally, while exports to China may be a small share of US GDP, they are relatively substantial compared to US exports to other countries. In other words, the measure of US trade performance in China is distorted by the low level of its exports to all countries.
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Volume (Year): 6 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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