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The Effects of Offshore Assembly on Industry Location: Evidence from U.S. Border Cities

In: The Effects of US Trade Protection and Promotion Policies

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  • Gordon H. Hanson

Abstract

In this paper, I examine how the growth of offshore assembly in Mexico has affected manufacturing activity in U.S. border cities. Under the offshore assembly provision of the U.S. tariff schedule, goods that are assembled abroad using U.S.-manufactured components receive preferential tariff treatment upon reentry into the United States. Foreign assembly plants in Mexico, most of which are owned by U.S.-based multinationals, are overwhelmingly concentrated along the border with the United States. I combine data on employment and earnings in two-digit manufacturing industries for U.S. border cities with data on employment and value added in foreign assembly plants in the corresponding Mexican border cities. I study the effect that the expansion of offshore assembly in a Mexican border city has on durable and nondurable manufacturing activities in the neighboring U.S. border city. The estimation results show strong support for the hypothesis that the growth of export assembly in Mexico increases the demand for manufacturing goods produced in U.S. border cities. Implications of the North American Free Trade Agreement for the U.S.-Mexico border region are discussed.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gordon H. Hanson, 1997. "The Effects of Offshore Assembly on Industry Location: Evidence from U.S. Border Cities," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of US Trade Protection and Promotion Policies, pages 297-322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanson, Gordon H., 2001. "U.S.-Mexico Integration and Regional Economies: Evidence from Border-City Pairs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 259-287, September.
    2. J.M. Finger, 2002. "Trade and Domestic Effects of the Offshore Assembly Provision in the U.S. Tariff," Chapters, in: Institutions and Trade Policy, chapter 4, pages 29-42, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    4. Brown, Drusilla K & Deardorff, Alan V & Stern, Robert M, 1992. "North American Integration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1507-1518, November.
    5. Grossman, Gene M., 1982. "Offshore assembly provisions and the structure of protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 301-312, May.
    6. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514, Elsevier.
    7. repec:fth:michin:312 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mendez, JoseA., 1993. "The welfare effects of repealing the U.S. Offshore Assembly Provision," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson & Deborah L. Swenson, 2000. "Offshore Assembly from the United States: Production Characteristics of the 9802 Program," NBER Chapters, in: The Impact of International Trade on Wages, pages 85-125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Deborah Swenson, 2005. "Outsourcing Price Decisions: Evidence from U.S. 9802 Imports," NBER Working Papers 11184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Swenson, Deborah L., 2005. "Overseas assembly and country sourcing choices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 107-130, May.
    4. Jennifer Logan, 2008. "Belted by NAFTA? A Look at Trade's Effect on the US Manufacturing Belt," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 675-687.
    5. Hanson, Gordon H, 1998. "North American Economic Integration and Industry Location," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 14(2), pages 30-44, Summer.
    6. Schmidt, Klaus-Dieter, 1997. "Small- and medium-sized enterprises in cross-border networks: Empirical evidence from the Pearl River Delta," Kiel Working Papers 808, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel).
    7. Engel, Dirk, 1999. "Der Einfluß der Grenznähe auf die Standortwahl von Unternehmen: Eine theoretische Analyse und empirische Befunde für Ostdeutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-18, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Timothy C. Ford & Brian Logan & Jennifer Logan, 2009. "NAFTA or Nada? Trade's Impact on U.S. Border Retailers," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 260-286, June.
    9. repec:hal:journl:dumas-00910194 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Mine Zeynep Senses, 2006. "The Effects of Outsourcing on the Elasticity of Labor Demand," Working Papers 06-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Holmes, Peter & Lopez-Gonzalez, Javier, 2011. "The Nature and Evolution of Vertical Specialisation: What is the Role of Preferential Trade Agreements?," Papers 222, World Trade Institute.
    12. Nobuaki Yamashita, 2010. "International Fragmentation of Production," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13615.

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    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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