Focus on International Trade

Focus on International Trade

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On June 7, the U.S. International Trade Commission published a study of outsourcing, with the Apple iPod as an example. It requires twice as much foreign labor as domestic labor to manufacture, but American workers received twice as much in aggregate wages as those abroad.

Also on June 7, economists Robert Johnson and Guillermo Noguera posted a paper examining statistical problems in the measurement of world trade. As a consequence, they believe that the U.S.-China trade imbalance is 40 percent smaller than it appears.

On May 18, the Peterson Institute published a policy brief on the role of China in the Doha Round of trade talks.

In a May 18 commentary, economists Alyson M and Ari Van Assche argue that a key driver of investment in Chinese manufacturing is proximity to rapidly growing East Asia markets.

And on May 18, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a report which found that American firms lost $48 billion in 2009 due to infringement of their intellectual property rights, such as trademarks and copyrights, by Chinese companies.

A May 11 commentary by economist Xuepeng Liu presents evidence that free trade encourages democracy.

On May 4, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago published a study on the fall and rise of world trade, 2008-2009.

A May 3 report from the Economic Policy Institute estimated that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has displaced 683,000 U.S. jobs.

On April 28, the European Central Bank published an online book examining the role of international trade in the economic recovery.

A March 23 working paper by Asian Development Bank economist Yuqing Xing found that the processing trade (assembling components manufactured elsewhere) accounts for 100 percent of China’s trade surplus. This means that appreciation of the Chinese currency is unlikely to have much impact in reducing the surplus.

I last posted items on this topic on April 26.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs dailyand writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006). 

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.