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Tag Archives: Trade Policy

US-China Economic Relations on Talking Trade

I had the pleasure of speaking with UW’s Ian Coxhead and Sandi Siegel, President of MITA and of ME Dey, at Talking Trade last week about trade, direct investment and competition in technology production. Some of the hotspots depicted are now longer particularly salient: Figure 1: Real trade weighted (broad) measure of value of Chinese yuan (brown, left log scale), nominal (blue, left log scale), and reported Chinese foreign exchange reserves ex-gold at central bank, in millions of USD...

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Wisconsin Manufacturing Employment and Manufactured Exports

Does Wisconsin’s fortunes — as a manufacturing heavy state — depend on what happens in the rest-of-the world? The answer is, partly, yes… Today’s employment release shows continued employment growth in manufacturing. Figure 1: Exports of manufactured goods attributed to Wisconsin, in millions $, seasonally adjusted using monthly multiplicative monthly dummies (blue, left log scale), and Wisconsin manufacturing employment, 000’s, s.a. (brown, right log scale). Source: Census, BLS and DWD,...

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“The impact of lockdowns on international trade”

A new blogpost by By Antoine Berthou and Sebastian Stumpner at the Banque de France: Lockdowns and more generally restrictions introduced by governments during the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the disruption of international trade in goods. We show that bilateral trade declined more when lockdowns were initially introduced in Spring 2020 with a higher degree of stringency. Moreover, the quantitative impact of lockdowns on trade weakened in the second half of 2020. This is especially the...

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Rashomon on E Street, SW

Regarding a report released by the International Trade Commission, The Coalition for a Prosperous America – a pro-protection organization led by a former Nucor CEO/Chairman – notes Government Study Shows Free Trade Deals Produced Little Benefit Except for Multinationals : …the national GDP rose by a laughably small 0.5% between 1985 and 2017, with real income rising a measly 0.6%. Still, the wage increases went almost entirely to white-collar labor, further exacerbating racial and income...

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Trade Sanctions on Use of Forced Labor in China

From Reuters: The Biden administration on Wednesday ordered a ban on U.S. imports of a key solar panel material from Chinese-based Hoshine Silicon Industry Co (603260.SS) over forced labor allegations, said two sources briefed on the matter. The U.S. Commerce Department separately restricted exports to Hoshine, three other Chinese companies and the paramilitary Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), saying they were involved with the forced labor of Uyghurs and other Muslim...

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Guest Contribution: “Globalisation and the Efficiency-Equity Trade-off”

Today we are pleased to present a guest contribution written by Roland Beck, Virginia di Nino and Livio Stracca (all at the European Central Bank). The views expressed belong to the authors and are not necessarily shared by the institutions to which the authors are affiliated. Criticism against globalisation and European integration is often coined in terms of a trade-off between enhanced efficiency and social justice. According to this line of argument, globalisation tends to violate the...

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Wisconsin Goods Exports during the Trump Trade War

Even before Covid-19 struck, Wisconsin exports were declining despite a sideways-trending dollar… Figure 1: Real “exports” of goods originating in Wisconsin, deflated by US PPI-all commodities in millions 1982$ (blue, left log scale), and real export-weighted value of US dollar for Wisconsin, 1988=100  (red, right low scale). Light orange shading denotes Trump administration, orange dashed line denotes March 2018 when Section 232 and Section 301 measures are announced. Green dashed line at...

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Guest Contribution: “How Tariffs Affect China’s Exports”

Today, we’re fortunate to have Willem Thorbecke, Senior Fellow at Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) as a guest contributor. The views expressed represent those of the author himself, and do not necessarily represent those of RIETI, or any other institutions the author is affiliated with. Donald Trump launched a trade war with China.  On 6 July 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of imports from China and on 23 August 2018 he placed 25% tariffs on an...

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Steel Employment and Production

Employment and production were declining before the pandemic. March employment is roughly the same as three years ago. Production is down 7.8% in April vs. three years prior. Figure 1: Employment, 000’s (blue, left scale), and production (red, right scale), in NAICS 3311, iron and steel. NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BLS and Federal Reserve.  All this comes at a time of a 60% increase in the iron/steel PPI.

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Steel Tariffs and Iron/Steel Prices

The Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum were a bad idea during the Trump administration. They’re still a bad idea. There are indications that the Biden administration will keep these tariffs in place, at least in the short term. Given the accelerated rise in prices since end-2020, this reluctance to eliminate these counterproductive measures is mysterious to me. The depreciation of the dollar after the Trump-induced flight to dollar assets had already raised import prices. Figure 1:...

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