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Trade Wars and Trade Deals: Estimated Effects using a Multi-Sector Model


  • Carlos Caceres
  • Diego A. Cerdeiro
  • Rui Mano


This paper studies the potential long-term effects of three illustrative scenarios using a multi-sector computable general equilibrium (CGE) trade model calibrated to 165 countries. The first scenario estimates effects from potential U.S. auto tariffs. The second analyzes a ‘transactional deal’ between the U.S. and China to close their bilateral deficit. The third, in the absence of such a deal, considers a potential escalation in bilateral tariffs between the two countries. Some common features emerge across all three scenarios: the overall effects on GDP tend to be relatively small albeit negative in most cases, including for the U.S. However, sectoral disruptions and positive and negative spillovers to highly exposed ‘by-stander’ economies can be large. There is also heterogeneity at the subnational level in the U.S. -- richer states tend to benefit from certain scenarios. We discuss how estimated impacts depend on the extent to which the U.S. is able to re-shore production in protected sectors. These results can usefully complement estimates obtained through macroeconomic models that are better suited to capture dynamic effects, such as those stemming from trade policy uncertainty. More generally, our results both underscore the value of adhering to the existing levels of liberalization, and highlight the risks associated with a fragmentation or even a complete breakdown of the trading system.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Caceres & Diego A. Cerdeiro & Rui Mano, 2019. "Trade Wars and Trade Deals: Estimated Effects using a Multi-Sector Model," IMF Working Papers 2019/143, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/143

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Brent Neiman & John Romalis, 2016. "Trade and the Global Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3401-3438, November.
    3. Mattoo,Aaditya & Staiger,Robert W., 2019. "Trade Wars : What Do They Mean ? Why Are They Happening Now ? What Are the Costs ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8829, The World Bank.
    4. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2017. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade, and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(9), pages 2731-2783, September.
    5. Ricardo Reyes-Heroles, 2017. "The Role of Trade Costs in the Surge of Trade Imbalances," 2017 Meeting Papers 212, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurence Wicht, 2019. "The impact of trade tensions on Switzerland: A quantitative assessment," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 70(01), pages 1-34, December.
    2. Cecilia Bellora & Lionel Fontagné, 2019. "Shooting Oneself in the Foot? Trade War and Global Value Chains," Working Papers 2019-18, CEPII research center.
    3. Cecilia Bellora & Lionel Fontagné, 2019. "Shooting Oneself in the Foot? Trade War and Global Value Chains," Working Papers 2019-18, CEPII research center.
    4. Eugenio M Cerutti & Shan Chen & Pragyan Deb & Albe Gjonbalaj & Swarnali A Hannan & Adil Mohommad, 2019. "Managed Trade: What Could be Possible Spillover Effects of a Potential Trade Agreement Between the U.S. and China?," IMF Working Papers 2019/251, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Pragyan Deb & Albe Gjonbalaj & Swarnali A Hannan, 2019. "The Drivers, Implications and Outlook for China’s Shrinking Current Account Surplus," IMF Working Papers 2019/244, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Simola, Heli, 2019. "Evaluating international impacts of China-specific shocks in an input-output framework," BOFIT Discussion Papers 17/2019, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

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