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Trade Policy and the China Syndrome

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  • Lorenzo Trimarchi

Abstract

The recent backlash against free trade is partially motivated by the decline in manufacturing employment due to rising import competition from China. Previous studies about the “China syndrome” neglect the role of trade policy. This is surprising, given that politicians in high-income countries have extensively used antidumping (AD) measures to protect their economies from rising Chinese imports. In this paper, I estimate the causal effect of trade protection on imports and employment, by constructing a new instrument for AD measures based on industries’ importance in swing states and experience in filing AD petitions. I show that AD duties have reduced import competition, decreasing the annual growth rate of US imports from China by 0.40 percentage points on average. They have also helped contain the China syndrome, by increasing the annual growth rate of employment in protected industries by 0.07 percentage points. These results show that protectionist instruments allowed under GATT/WTO rules can be used to attenuate the effects of import competition on employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Trimarchi, 2020. "Trade Policy and the China Syndrome," Working Papers ECARES 2020-15, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/304888
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Barattieri & Matteo Cacciatore, 2020. "Self-Harming Trade Policy? Protectionism and Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 27630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Timini, Jacopo & Conesa, Marina, 2019. "Chinese Exports and Non-Tariff Measures: Testing for Heterogeneous Effects at the Product Level," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 34(2), pages 327-345.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Antidumping; Import Competition; Manufacturing Jobs; US-China Trade Relations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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