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  • Author: Jennifer A. Hillman, David Sacks
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy undertaking and the world’s largest infrastructure program, poses a significant challenge to U.S. economic, political, climate change, security, and global health interests. Since BRI’s launch in 2013, Chinese banks and companies have financed and built everything from power plants, railways, highways, and ports to telecommunications infrastructure, fiber-optic cables, and smart cities around the world. If implemented sustainably and responsibly, BRI has the potential to meet long-standing developing country needs and spur global economic growth. To date, however, the risks for both the United States and recipient countries raised by BRI’s implementation considerably outweigh its benefits. BRI was initially designed to connect China’s modern coastal cities to its underdeveloped interior and to its Southeast, Central, and South Asian neighbors, cementing China’s position at the center of a more connected world. The initiative has since outgrown its original regional corridors, expanding to all corners of the globe. Its scope now includes a Digital Silk Road intended to improve recipients’ telecommunications networks, artificial intelligence capabilities, cloud computing, e-commerce and mobile payment systems, surveillance technology, and other high-tech areas, along with a Health Silk Road designed to operationalize China’s vision of global health governance.1 Hundreds of projects around the world now fall under the BRI umbrella.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Hegemony, Conflict, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regionalism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Raoul Bunskoek, Chih-yu Shih
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Conventional explanations of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) focus on how the BRI will be in China’s interest, how it will strengthen China’s geopolitical position, or a combination of the two. We argue that such views are limited because they merely interpret the BRI through ‘Western’ IR lenses. This paper ‘re-worlds’ China by using the BRI as a case study to illustrate how in the discursive field(s) of China’s elite, China as a Westphalian nation state, and China as amorphous Tianxia under Confucianism coexist, struggle for recognition, and are interrelated. Consequently, we argue that China, because of the economic miracle it created domestically over the last few decades, is now convinced of its own ‘moral superiority’, and ready to export its self-perceived ‘benevolence’ abroad. In this light, we read the BRI to be undergirded by a combination of ‘Western’ and Confucian values, suggesting a post-Western/post-Chinese form of regionalism.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Hegemony, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regionalism
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Malte Winkler, Sonja Peterson, Sneha Thube
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Linking the EU and Chinese Emission Trading Systems (ETS) increases the cost-efficiency of reaching greenhouse gas mitigation targets, but both partners will benefit – if at all – to different degrees. Using the global computable-general equilibrium (CGE) model DART Kiel, we evaluate the effects of linking ETS in combination with 1) restricted allowances trading, 2) adjusted allowance endowments to compensate China, and 3) altered Armington elasticities when Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets are met. We find that generally, both partners benefit from linking their respective trading systems. Yet, while the EU prefers full linking, China favors restricted allowance trading. Transfer payments through adjusted allowance endowments cannot sufficiently compensate China so as to make full linking as attractive as restricted trading. Gains associated with linking increase with higher Armington elasticities for China, but decrease for the EU. Overall, the EU and China favor differing options of linking ETS. Moreover, heterogeneous impacts across EU countries could cause dissent among EU regions, potentially increasing the difficulty of finding a linking solution favorable for all trading partners.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Saila Turtiainen
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The ratification process for the EU’s new investment agreement with China is expected to be very difficult. Although the aim is to improve EU-China relations, the process of getting the agreement approved in the EU will end up causing further tensions with China as the EU tries to strike a balance between promoting its values and economic interests.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, European Union, Conflict, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Aliya Tskhay
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Central Asia is at the core of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which promises to bring connectivity, trade, and improved infrastructure, as well as overall economic development to the states of the region. Yet beyond the official rhetoric, China is promoting its power through geoeconomic means. This paper looks at areas of cooperation (energy, infrastructure, trade, and finance) and identifies the ways in which China is involved with the region. Through a combination of loans, investments, and infrastructure projects, the research shows how China ‘binds’ the region closer to itself and ‘wedges’ out alternative partners. It also shows how Central Asian states utilise the funding within the BRI framework for national development programmes, whilst navigating avenues for mitigating the establishment of a dependent relationship with China. The paper concludes with some policy implications for China, Central Asia, and the wider region.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Hegemony, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Strategic Interests
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Hafiz Muhammad Qasim, Abdul Majid, Atif Jadoon
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The main aim of the present study is to empirically investigate into the question whether the Institutional Quality (IQ) and Trade Openness (TO) are competitors or complements in Economic Growth (EG) in case of sample South Asia Economies; “India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka”. The panel data for the period of 1984-2018 has been utilized. The Fixed Effects Model (FEM) estimation technique has been applied for empirical investigation. The empirical results of FEM confirm the positive and statically significant impact of IQ and Interaction Term on Economic Growth in sample countries. The positive significant results strongly supported the hypothesis of this study, the IQ and TO are complements in EG in the case of sample SAE. The IQ measure has also established positive and significant effects on EG while the TO has a negative impact. Based on empirical findings, this study recommends that the policymakers of sample countries should make policies that strengthen the IQ, in order to improve trade and, consequently, the EG.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Institutions, Economic Theory
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Kozo Kiyota
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Global trade is expected to suffer a significant contraction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did the relative importance of countries in the world trade network change as a result of the pandemic? The answer to this question is particularly important for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries because of their strong trade linkages with China, where the COVID-19 virus originated. This paper examines how the world trade network has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on ASEAN countries. Tracking the changes in centrality from January 2000 to June 2020, we find no evidence that centrality changed significantly after the pandemic started for most ASEAN countries. Our results suggest that the relative importance of the ASEAN countries in the world trade network is unchanged and will remain unchanged even after the pandemic.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Tamat Sarmidi, Norlin Khalid, Sufian Jusoh, Muhamad Rias K.V. Zainuddin
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study simulates the sector impacts of demand-side perturbations on air transport sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on ASEAN members plus Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand. This study involves (i) the generation of a multiregional input–output table from the latest Global Trade Analysis Project data, (ii) a network analysis to determine the importance of the air transport industry in each country, (iii) multiplier and linkages analyses, (iv) determinations of sector impacts from demand-side perturbations on air transport sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and (v) simulation of the effect of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. This study demonstrates that the aviation industry is a key sector in domestic and regional economic activities, and the reduction in air transport consumer demand due to the pandemic is estimated to cause gross domestic product (GDP) reductions from 0.4% to 2.1%. Government intervention, through fiscal and monetary policies, has, however, mitigated severe impact, moderating GDP and value-added losses. Thus, a viable policy prescription for the aviation industry is of utmost importance.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, COVID-19, Travel
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ben Shepherd
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper reviews trade in pharmaceutical products, focusing on ASEAN countries. Trade in this sector is of singular policy importance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the paper shows that pharmaceuticals are traded within Global Value Chains, which in turn means that international linkages are complex. Second, the paper shows that policy reforms can help boost trade in the sector, which has important human development implications during the pandemic period.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, Global Value Chains, COVID-19, Pharmaceuticals
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ayako Obashi
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: In the East Asian context, previous studies showed that trade occurring through production networks remained relatively steady amidst an economic shock and recovered faster and stronger once the shock was over. Using finely disaggregated product-level monthly bilateral trade data, we examine whether network trade in the East Asian region has been robust and resilient in face of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as in normal times, by conducting a series of survival analyses. We find a new set of empirical evidence suggesting the robustness of East Asian network trade in normal times and its resilience even amidst the COVID-19 shock.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Production
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Upalat Korwatanasakul
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study examines the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on global value chain (GVC) participation and the underlying mechanisms. Our study employs a novel approach using an additional compliance requirement indicator as a relative proxy for NTMs to measure their impact on GVC participation. We conduct a cross-sectional analysis at the industry level, spanning 19 industrial sectors in 30 countries in 2015. We combine our additional compliance requirement indicator dataset calculated from NTM data in the Trade Analysis Information System, with our dataset on trade in value added estimated from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Inter-Country Input–Output Table. Our analysis finds that, while NTMs and tariffs both negatively impact backward GVC participation, the impact of NTMs is greater than that of tariff measures. Moreover, the estimated results show that inward foreign direct investment is positively associated with backward GVC participation. Therefore, policies that reduce trade costs from policy barriers, especially NTMs, and attract more foreign direct investment can help promote GVC participation.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Industry, Global Value Chains, Non-Tariff Measures
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Duc Anh Dang, Vuong Anh Dang
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade (TBTs) in destination markets may affect firms’ performance. In this paper, we examine how meeting foreign standards affects exporting firms’ innovation, reflected in the product quality, production processes, skills, and technological acquisition. The analysis relies on official regulations on non-tariff measures released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and panel data for manufacturing firms in Viet Nam during 2013–2015. To correct for the potential endogeneity of SPS measures and TBTs and measurement errors, we use the number of SPS measures and TBTs imposed on other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Member States as an instrument variable. Our results indicate that a higher number of SPS measures and TBTs applied by destination countries increases the probability of Vietnamese exporting firms’ skill acquisition. SPS measures also have higher positive impacts on product quality improvement and skill acquisition in the food processing sector. The SPS measures and TBTs have larger impacts on small firms than large firms. Foreign firms tend to acquire more technology and skills than domestic firms when facing SPS measures and TBTs by importing countries. Higher SPS measures and TBTs have more effects on the probability of acquiring skills by state-owned firms. However, the propensity of product quality and technological acquisition of non-state firms is much higher than that of state-owned firms when facing a greater level of SPS measures and TBTs.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Governance, Innovation, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mitsuyo Ando, Kenta Yamanouchi, Fukunari Kimura
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Despite its impressive economic growth in the past few decades, India is slow in adopting a task-by-task international division of labour or international production networks (IPNs). Using international trade data for international comparison from multiple angles, this paper visualises the position of India – particularly in machinery IPNs and information and communication technology (ICT) services. Although machinery industries are at the centre of IPNs in East Asia, the paper clearly visualises that India has not yet participated in Factory Asia. Rather, trade data indicate that India is still engaged in import-substituting industrialisation. The paper also argues that ICT services are a strength for the Indian economy, and its competitiveness could be utilised effectively by combining new technologies with traditional industries such as manufacturing. India still has huge potential for utilising the mechanics of a new international division of labour to accelerate economic growth, innovation, and poverty alleviation.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Manufacturing, Industry, Global Value Chains
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Nobuaki Yamashita, K. Fukasaku
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper assesses how the current COVID-19 pandemic is shaping global value chains in East Asia after the formidable disruptions inflicted by the health crisis. Some have expressed the view that global value chains would readjust and production processes would move home, i.e. reshoring, facilitated by the recent movement of protectionism measures in the post-pandemic world. We evaluate such concerns and examine the role of policy with a focus on non-tariff measures in East Asia.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, Global Value Chains, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Yan Lili Ing, Grace Hadiwidjaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: While East Asia has been moving forward with its regional integration agenda, one main challenge remains and is growing – non-tariff measures (NTMs). Animal, vegetable, and food products tend to be more regulated than other products, largely due to quality and safety standards. NTMs affect 66%–98% of total trade in those sectors. Our paper presents the frequency index, coverage ratio, and prevalence score to measure NTMs in the region. They are highest amongst food, vegetable, and animal products; and vary amongst other products, depending on the economy. We find that the high frequency index of NTMs does not necessarily translate to a high value of coverage ratio for trade. One explanation could be that countries tend to regulate imported goods which compete with the domestic products more than imported goods which they need.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Tariffs, Non-Tariff Measures, Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Asia, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, New Zealand
  • Author: Christopher Findlay, Hein Roelfsema, Niall Van De Wouw
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on air cargo market development, with special attention to the connections between countries in Asia, the European Union, and the United States. Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, we show that participation in global value chains played a crucial role in how countries in Asia increased their exposure to the European Union market, which was hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. Analysing the effects of the crisis in 2020- using a fuzzy set complexity approach and recent high-frequency data on air cargo transport - we show that such demand effects, together with domestic contraction conditions, explain a large share of variation in air cargo dynamics across countries in Asia. However, we also show that implementing best practices in pandemic control positively impacts air cargo recovery for countries that cannot rely on export market rebounds. After reviewing the convergence in air cargo business models since 2010, the paper continues to assess recovery options. The main conclusion is that business models will converge on long haul point-to-point models that combine passengers and cargo, moving away from the current hub and spoke system.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, Global Value Chains, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Sarah Y. Tong, Yao Li, Tuan Yuen Kong
  • Publication Date: 07-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper explores modules and articles on cooperation concerning the digital economy that are applicable for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries under certain circumstances. It investigates the progress of and obstacles to ASEAN’s digital connectivity, as well as features of existing Digital Economic Agreements and digital economy-related articles in other agreements. We propose the use of a differentiated strategy and steps to promote integration for ASEAN countries covered in this research.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Pavel Chakraborthy, Rahul Singh
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: We study the effects of technical barriers to trade (TBTs) imposed by destination markets on prices, marginal costs, and markups of Indian manufacturing exporters. Using detailed firm-product-level data on prices and production from PROWESS, we first identify the underlying component of prices (i.e. marginal costs and markups), and use those as our outcomes of interest in the second stage. We find that (i) introduction of TBTs by importing countries increases marginal costs by 5% and prices by 4%, (ii) there is considerable heterogeneity based on exporters’ initial productivity, (iii) productive exporters (those belonging to the lower deciles) experienced an increase in marginal costs and decrease in markups compared to low productivity exporters, and (iv) overall effects are driven by private firms (both domestic and foreign) belonging to intermediate input industries.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Exports
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Ben Shepherd
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The concept of effective rate of protection expresses protection on a sector’s final output relative to protection affecting its inputs. As such, it is well adapted to analysing the effects of trade policy from a supply chain standpoint. This paper makes two contributions to the literature on effective rates of protection. First, it draws on the literature on trade in value added to highlight an alternative to the traditional measure that better accounts for supply chain trade by considering both direct and indirect input use. Second, it includes data on ad valorem equivalents of non-tariff measures, which are increasingly important as trade policy instruments. In an analysis covering 17 aggregate goods sectors, I find that average tariff only effective rates of protection in ASEAN averaged 6.9% and ranged from zero to 23.4% in 2018. By contrast, effective rates including non-tariff measures averaged 14.0% and ranged from –6.2% to 44.0%. While patterns of escalation and even effective taxation differ substantially across sectors, most countries practice a tariff and NTM trade policy that is broadly neutral between input and output sectors, but which causes low to moderate isolation from world markets. Given the complexity of tariffs and NTMs from a supply chain perspective, there would likely be reductions in economic waste accompanying substantial simplification.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Protectionism, Non-Tariff Measures, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jane Kelsey
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: As the digital economy expands in scale, scope, and form it poses major challenges for public revenue and tax policy and administration in Asia and other parts of the global South. When attempts led by developed countries at the OECD-led Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) to agree on new norms for taxing digital giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon stalled, individual countries, including a number of developing countries in Asia, began developing their own responses, notably the adoption of digital services taxes. High-level compromises have recently been announced at the OECD, but the details are yet to come and are not expected to address the needs of developing countries to effectively tax the activities of digital giants operating from offshore. As countries seek effective and workable means to tax the digitalised economy, existing and proposed international rules on digital trade in free trade agreements, and plurilateral moves to develop electronic commerce rules in the World Trade Organization, may fetter their ability to do so. To date, very little attention has been paid in trade negotiations to the consequences of these developments for countries’ tax regimes. Nor have the adequacy, effectiveness, and workability of the tax exceptions in trade and investment agreements been properly re-assessed. Many governments are only becoming aware that trade rules may constrains their ability to regulate the (poorly understood and fast moving) digital domain after they have signed up to them. A series of investigations by the US government under Section 301 of the US Trade Act 1974 into digital services taxes, including those adopted by India and proposed by Indonesia, provides a real-world basis on which to assess how binding and enforceable digital trade rules might be used to challenge digital tax measures at the unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral levels. In highlighting these risks, the paper aims to provide a framework for the tax and trade divisions of governments in ASEAN and East Asia to reflect together on the potential for proposed digital trade rules to impact negatively on their public revenue.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, Tax Systems, Commerce, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Yan Lili Ing, Junianto James Losarili
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) and China have recently reached an agreement: the EU–China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). As one of the most recent investment agreements concluded by the EU, the paper aims to assess specific concessions made in the agreement, and provides lessons learnt for Indonesia on the ongoing negotiations of the Indonesia–EU free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IEU CEPA). The paper will present an overview of the main areas covered under the CAI, assess the potential impacts of the CAI on EU investment into Indonesia, and set out lessons that can be learnt from the CAI.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, European Union, Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Anming Zhang, Xiaoqian Sun, Sebastian Wandelt, Yahua Zhang, Shiteng Su, Ronghua Shen
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper provides an in-depth description of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and its interactions with air transportation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)+5 region, and then links the changes in air connectivity to trade using a gravity regression model. We find that almost all the countries probably reacted too late in their decision to reduce flights in the early stage of the pandemic. As the pandemic evolved, most countries have significantly cut the number of flight connections, especially international flights. The reduced connectivity is found to have a significantly negative impact on trade for time-sensitive merchandise that is essential to consumers and businesses. This points to the importance of the region seeking alternative arrangements to restore air connectivity. We offer a way to construct optimal travel bubbles by using risk indexes introduced here. Other policy issues such as uniform standards and regulations, and regional ‘open skies’, are also discussed.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, COVID-19, Travel
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Norlin Khalid, Muhamad Rias K.V. Zainuddin, Tamat Sarmidi, Sufian Jusoh, Faliq Razak, Mohd Helmi Ali
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the effect of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on trade in selected East Asian countries. In doing so, we first estimate the ad valorem equivalent (AVE) of NTMs and construct an augmented trade restrictiveness index (ATRI) by measuring the overall external regulations imposed by importing countries. Second, we analyse the effect of the AVE and trade restrictiveness index (TRI) of importing nations on the exports of various sub-sector products for each country in selected East Asian countries. Based on a standard gravity model framework, we perform a Poisson pseudo maximum likelihood (PPML) regression at the sectoral level (Harmonized System 2-digit) for total exports and major sub-sectors (agri-food, health, logistics, and manufacturing). The findings show that the ATRI has a negative and significant relationship towards bilateral exports for total exports, manufacturing, and logistics sub-sectors. The negative impacts of the ATRI also highlight that trade barriers play a significant role in bilateral exports. NTM restrictions (proxied by the calculated AVE of NTMs) imposed by importing countries have mixed results for technical and non-technical measures. Where technical measures have negative and significant impacts on bilateral exports for total exports, manufacturing, and health sub-sectors. This implies that implementation of technical NTMs such as sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) and technical barrier to trade (TBT) measures in importing nations adversely affect bilateral exports for these sub-sectors. This is in line with our hypothesis, as exporters may face difficulties in meeting the current NTM specifications, leading to lower bilateral exports. In addition, the results show that most trade agreements have a positive and significant relationship with ASEAN and East Asia countries’ bilateral exports, suggesting that free trade agreements enhance trade between countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Non-Tariff Measures
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Chandran Govindaraju, Neil Foster-McGregor, Evelyn Shyamala Devadason
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper measures regulatory distance in non-tariff measures (NTMs) to examine the regulatory distance patterns and how the margins of trade respond to regulatory distance for the ASEAN+5 economies (the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations Member States plus Australia, China, India, Japan and New Zealand). It decomposes the margins of trade and regulatory distance by sector (agriculture and manufacturing) and NTM type (technical, non-technical, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBTs), and pre-shipment inspections and other measures) for the 15 countries. At the country level, the results indicate a varying regulatory distance amongst the ASEAN+5 countries. Regulatory implementation also varies by sector and by the type of measure. Within sectors, SPS regulatory distance is higher in the agriculture sector, while for manufacturing, the regulatory distance in TBTs is higher. Notably, few countries recorded a higher regulatory distance for non-technical measures and pre-shipment inspections. Interestingly, for the ASEAN region, there seems to be no evidence supporting a reduction in regulatory distance from 2015 to 2018, despite efforts to harmonise NTMs since 2015. The results indicate that regulatory distance largely has a trade-reducing effect along the trade margins within ASEAN+5 bilateral trade. Technical measures have a greater trade-reducing effect than other measures along extensive and intensive trade margins – specifically SPS in the agriculture sector and TBTs in the manufacturing sector. Notably, there is also evidence of non-technical measures and pre-shipments and other formalities impacting trade along extensive margins, despite efforts to establish trade facilitation. The paper also describes some policy implications.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Regulation, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Yasuyuki Todo, Keita Oikawa, Masahito Ambashi, Fukunari Kimura, Shujiro Urata
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using a unique firm-level data set from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India collected from November 2020 to February 2021, this paper examines how the robustness and resilience of supply chain links – i.e. maintaining links and substituting another for a disrupted partner, respectively – were determined when firms faced economic shocks due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Focusing on the role of the characteristics of firms’ supply chains, we find that homophily, i.e. the tendency to form a group with similar agents, was often associated with the robustness of supply chain links, most likely because of the strength of homophilous ties. In particular, when a foreign-owned firm had a supply chain link with a firm located in the same country as its home country, the link was quite robust. We also find that the geographic diversity of customers and suppliers creates resilience of supply chains. When the demand or supply from a partner of a firm was disrupted because of COVID-19, the firm likely mitigated the damage from the disruption through substitution of partners if its supply chains were well diversified across countries. In addition, larger or younger firms tended to be resilient and robust. The robustness and resilience of supply chains are found to have led to higher performance.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Pandemic, Resilience, COVID-19, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: India, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Kensuke Tanaka
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: China's rebound happened relatively quickly owing to a large extent to timely macroeconomic policy responses to the crisis. Lagging somewhat behind China, most Southeast Asian countries have now entered the transition from recession to recovery. Some export-dependent Southeast Asian countries shifted their export destination to China to benefit from its early recovery. This switch of export destination to China illustrates China's important role in leading the recovery of the region. Enhancing regional macroeconomic co-operation would help reduce vulnerability of the region and ensure a sustained recovery. Regional macroeconomic co-operation remains at an early stage in Southeast Asia, but possibilities for further co-operation should be explored.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Recovery
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Minsoo Han, Hyuk-Hwang Kim, Hyelin Choi, Danbee Park, Jisu Kim
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The shutdown of the GM Koreas Gunsan plant in May 2018 heightened social interest in the withdrawal of mutlinational corporations (MNCs). Against this backdrop, the forthcoming research The economic effects of multinational corporation withdrawal and policy responses studies the previous cases of MNC withdrawal, estimates the effects on labor market., and provides policy directions to address to the withdrawal. This note summarizes some of its important results.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economy, Multinational Corporations, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea
  • Author: Surendar Singh
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: India and South Korea enjoy strong economic and trade relations, shaped by a significant convergence of interest, mutual good will and high-level diplomatic exchange. Bilateral trade between the two countries has also increased after signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership (CEPA). However, the overall trade balance is in favor of South Korea due to superior comparative advantage of Korea in manufacturing as compared to India. South Korean exports are high technology-intensive while India’s exports are low-value raw material and intermediate products. Both countries are members to a mega regional trade pact – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Though India has decided to not join the RCEP at this stage it will continue the discussion to explore possible ways to join it. Assuming that India will join the RCEP sooner or later, it is important to analyze the potential impact of the RCEP to India-South Korea bilateral trade ties. This short policy paper compares the proposed provisions of the RCEP and CEPA. It shows that the RCEP is much more comprehensive an agreement compared to the CEPA, both in terms of coverage and scope. It also provides some insights on the likely implications of the RCEP, especially from the perspective of trade with China factored against the bilateral trade ties between India and South Korea.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Partnerships, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Dan Ciuriak, Maria Piashkina
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The rapid digital transformation occurring worldwide poses significant challenges for policy makers working within a governance framework that evolved over centuries. Domestic policy space needs to be redefined for the digital age, and the interface with international trade governance recalibrated. In this paper, Dan Ciuriak and Maria Ptashkina organize the issues facing policy makers under the broad pillars of “economic value capture,” “sovereignty” in public choice and “national security,” and outline a conceptual framework with which policy makers can start to think about a coherent integration of the many reform efforts now under way, considering how policies adopted in these areas can be reconciled with commitments under a multilateral framework adapted for the digital age.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Reform, Digital Economy, Multilateralism, Digitization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Marcin Przychodniak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China’s cooperation with the Western Balkans through the “17+1” format and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), among others, is primarily political. In the economic sphere, Chinese investments are to a large extent only declarations, and trade is marginal in comparison to cooperation with the EU or others. China’s goals are to gain political influence in future EU countries and limit their cooperation with the U.S. Competition with China in the region requires more intense EU-U.S. cooperation, made more difficult by the pandemic.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Investment, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Balkans
  • Author: Michael D Bordo, Mickey D. Levy
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The ratcheting up of tariffs and the Fed’s discretionary conduct of monetary policy are a toxic mix for economic performance. Escalating tariffs and President Trump’s erratic and unpredictable trade policy and threats are harming global economic performance, distorting monetary policy, and undermining the Fed’s credibility and independence. President Trump’s objectives to force China to open access to its markets for international trade, reduce capital controls, modify unfair treatment of intellectual property, and address cybersecurity issues and other U.S. national security issues are laudable goals with sizable benefits. However, the costs of escalating tariffs are mounting, and the tactic of relying exclusively on barriers to trade and protectionism is misguided and potentially dangerous. The economic costs to the United States so far have been relatively modest, dampening exports, industrial production, and business investment. However, the tariffs and policy uncertainties have had a significantly larger impact on China, accentuating its structural economic slowdown, and are disrupting and distorting global supply chains. This is harming other nations that have significant exposure to international trade and investment overseas, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Germany. As a result, global trade volumes and industrial production are falling. Weaker global growth is reflected in a combination of a reduction in aggregate demand and constraints on aggregate supply.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy, Economic Growth, Tariffs, Industry
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Europe, Asia, South Korea, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Simon Lester, Huan Zhu
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Donald Trump was a trade “hawk” long before he became president. In the late 1980s, he went on the Oprah Winfrey show and complained about Japan “beating the hell out of this country” on trade (Real Clear Politics 2019). As president, he has continued with the same rhetoric, using it against a wide range of U.S. trading partners, and he has followed it up with action (often in the form of tariffs). While many countries have found themselves threatened by Trump’s aggressive trade policy, his main focus has been China. As a result, the United States and China have been engaged in an escalating tariff, trade, and national security conflict since July 2018, when the first set of U.S. tariffs on China went into effect and China retaliated with tariffs of its own. In this article, we explore the U.S.-China economic conflict, from its origins to the trade war as it stands today. We then offer our thoughts on where this conflict is heading and when it might end.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Tariffs, Trade Wars, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Egoh Aziz
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Nkafu Policy Institute
  • Abstract: The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has caused waves of horror and anxiety across many nations in the world. Considering the intense unravelling of the pandemic, no exact figure as per the number of confirmed and death cases worldwide is definite because the situation changes almost every hour. However, on April 14, 2020 3:40 GMT, Worldometer reported 210 countries and territories across the globe having a total of 1,925,179 confirmed cases, and a dead toll of 119,699 deaths. The impact of the pandemic is disastrous globally affecting a variety of sectors including the service and supply chain, as well as trade, manufacturing, and tourism. This article aims to provide a synoptic assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on Sino-African trade activities. It stresses that, if African policymakers revamp their efforts to quickly address COVID-19, the human casualty will be less and African economic growth may experience lesser shock as previewed by the IMF. On the other hand, if they relent their efforts, the human casualty will soar while the growth rate may decline. The effect of COVID-19’s outbreak in China has caused a slowdown on exports and services directed towards China.According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, in 2018, China’s total import and export volume with Africa was US$204.19 billion, a yearly increase of 19.7%, surpassing the total growth rate of foreign trade in the same period by 7.1 percentage points. Among these, China’s exports to Africa were US$104.91 billion, up 10.8% and China’s imports from Africa were US$99.28 billion, up 30.8%; the surplus was US$5.63 billion, down 70.0% every year. The growth rate of Sino African trade was the highest in the world in 2018. This shows that Sino-African trade has a significant contribution to the growth of African economies.
  • Topic: Economics, Health, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Trade, Coronavirus, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Cameroon
  • Author: Wendy Cutler
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Much attention has been focused on China’s unfair intellectual property practices and the imbalance in the U.S.-China trade relationship, but equally troubling are large-scale Chinese industrial subsidies, the behavior of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and in general, the oversized and opaque role of the Chinese state in the economy. While the U.S-China phase one trade deal tackled some important sources of bilateral tension and aimed to boost Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and services, it was silent on industrial subsidies and related matters, leaving them for the next phase of negotiations, the fate of which is now in question. U.S. concerns on these matters are shared by other trading partners including the European Union (EU) and Japan. Yet despite widespread disapproval of such practices, building new global rules to combat subsidies has proven challenging. This is due to several factors, ranging from gridlock at the WTO, differences of views among like-minded countries on the required level of ambition, and uncertainty as to how best to approach the enormous complexities in China’s subsidies and related policies. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has sought to unpack this complexity, conducting recent studies of Chinese subsidies in two key sectors: aluminum and semiconductors. Both studies illustrate how Chinese subsidies are not simple cash handouts from the state to protected firms so that they can sell at favorable and distorting prices. The OECD finds subsidies can take various forms, including downstream or upstream help that trickles up or down to the firm that’s intended to benefit. They can take the form of favorable equity or debt purchases or bonds provided at below-market rates. And with interconnected global value chains, subsidies can effectively be granted covertly, intended to benefit one firm that might be several links away along the chain. In China, the problem is compounded by an opaque “party-state” structure that obscures not only the recipients of subsidies, but also the source. According to Mark Wu, a Harvard Law School professor who previously served as the Director for Intellectual Property in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, subsidies not only flow directly from government bodies in Beijing, but also indirectly through informal responses to directives — sometimes even left unsaid, but understood — from the Chinese Communist Party. Against this backdrop, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) convened two roundtables in the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020 to discuss how best to build a new rules-based infrastructure that might combat such subsidies and prevent trade-distorting results such as unfair competition, market access barriers, and, above all, overcapacity in global markets. Experts from the private sector, think tanks, governments, and academia weighed in with possible solutions, which included: Negotiating new rules in the WTO; Using the WTO dispute settlement system, despite its often-discussed flaws; Forming ad hoc rules-based approaches, where possible, like the U.S-EU-Japan trilateral initiative; Plurilateral negotiations conducted on a sector-by-sector basis; Forming coalitions of like-minded trading partners to establish an alternative model, much in the way that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was framed. During the roundtables, most experts agreed that there is no silver bullet that solves the subsidy and related issues on its own. And most agree that, left unaddressed, the problem is likely to deepen. The COVID-19 pandemic might even exacerbate it by leading to more state involvement in economies around the world and making it hard to discipline Beijing’s practices. Recognizing all of these real challenges that the international trade community faces, the roundtables reached the following key conclusions: Transparency on the scope, level, and nature of industrial subsidies is vital; Efforts to publicize the ongoing work in these areas, particularly that being done by the OECD, should accelerate; Turning research into tangible new policies is a key step; and Persuading China to agree to updated rules will be necessary, given that China is a singular contributor to overcapacity.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Trade, Industry, WTO
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sruthi V.S.
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on International Policy (CIP)
  • Abstract: The ambitious $400 billion deal between China and Iran has garnered worldwide attention. The 18-page draft proposal says that China will facilitate the infusion of about $280 billion to Iran. This major economic and security partnership between China and Iran has raised India’s concerns against the backdrop of its ongoing border conflict with China. According to the New York Times report, the proposed China-Iran deal talks about expanding China’s presence in Iran’s “banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects”, and in return China will receive a steady supply of oil from Iran for the next 25 years at a discounted price. There are more than 100 projects listed in the draft that will see Chinese investments; these include building Free Trade Zones and several very significant ports. The Chinese will also help Iran build infrastructure for 5G networks and come up with an internet filter like the Great Firewall in China. The stronghold of China in Iran could also result in undermining US policy in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Joshua Cavanaugh
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: A select delegation of leaders from the U.S. Democratic and Republican Parties and the global business community traveled to Beijing, China to meet with senior officials from the Communist Party of China (CPC) on November 18-21, 2019. The discussions were part of the 11th U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue organized by the EastWest Institute (EWI) in partnership with the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC). Launched in 2010, the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue seeks to build understanding and trust between political elites from the U.S. and China through candid exchanges of views on topics ranging from local governance to foreign policy concerns. The dialogue process consistently involves sitting officers from the CPC and the U.S. Democratic and Republican National Committees. In the 11th iteration of the dialogue, the CPC delegation was led by Song Tao, minister of IDCPC. Gary Locke, former secretary of the United States Department of Commerce, former governor for the state of Washington and former United States Ambassador of China; and Alphonso Jackson, former secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; lead the U.S. Democratic and Republican delegations, respectively. Throughout the dialogue, members of both delegations spoke freely on relevant topics including foriegn policy trends, trade disputes and emerging areas of economic cooperation. EWI facilitated a series of meetings for the U.S. delegation, which included a productive meeting with Wang Qishan, vice president of the People’s Republic of China at the Great Hall of the People. The delegates also met with Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs; Dai Bingguo, former state councilor of the People’s Republic of China; and Lu Kang, director of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The U.S. delegates visited the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and met with their president, Jin Liqun, as well as the Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University to engage prominent scholars on the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Bennett Murray
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: As the United States and People’s Republic of China jostle for influence among member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Russian Federation has also declared the bloc a priority. Southeast Asian nations, in turn, would like third powers to counterbalance Beijing and Washington in the region. However, Russia has not made a huge impression in the bloc since its first summit with ASEAN in 2005. Economic success has been mostly limited to bilateral trade centered around arms sales, while security partnerships have not been forthcoming. Part of the problem is that Russia lacks historic ties in its former Cold War rivals, which are also ASEAN’s largest economic powerhouses, to lean on. More crucially, Southeast Asian nations perceive Moscow as deferential to Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions in the region.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics, Soft Power, Economic Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Joseph de Weck
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Do you want to know how Beijing would like Europe to act? Take a look at Switzerland. Switzerland and China have been close for decades. It was the first Western nation to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in January 1950. Bern wanted to protect investments in the new People’s Republic from nationalization and hoped Swiss industry could lend a hand in rebuilding China’s infrastructure after the civil war. Being friendly to China paid off, but only 30 years later, once reformer Deng Xiaoping took the reins of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1980, Swiss elevator producer Schindler was the first foreign company to do a joint venture in China. Today, Switzerland is the only continental European country to have a free trade agreement (FTA) with China.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Switzerland, Sweden
  • Author: June Teufel Dreyer
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: According to geologists, rare earths are not rare, but they are precious. The answer to what appears to be a riddle lies in accessibility. Comprising 17 elements that are used extensively in both consumer electronics and national defense equipment, rare earth elements (REEs) were first discovered and put into use in the United States. However, production gradually shifted to China, where lower labor costs, less concern for environmental impacts, and generous state subsidies enabled the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to account for 97 percent of global production. In 1997, Magniquench, then-America’s leading rare earths company, was sold to an investment consortium headed by Archibald Cox, Jr., son of the same-named Watergate prosecutor, with two Chinese state-owned metals firms, San Huan New Materials and China National Nonferrous Metals Import and Export Company. The chairman of San Huan, son-in-law of paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, became chairman of the company. Magniquench was shut down in the United States, moved to China, and reopened in 2003, where it fit in well with Deng’s Super 863 Program to acquire cutting-edge technologies for military applications, including “exotic materials.” This left Molycorp as the last remaining major rare earths producer in the United States until its collapse in 2015.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Exports, Supply Chains
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nan Tian, Fei Su
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: Quantitative research on the finances of the Chinese arms industry has been limited by the scarcity of available data. A scoping study to estimate the financial value of the arms sales of companies in the Chinese arms industry—using a new methodology—found information on four companies: the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), the China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC) and the China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO). These four companies cover three main sectors of conventional arms production: aircraft, electronics and land systems. The estimates suggest that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the United States and ahead of Russia. All four of the profiled companies would be ranked among the 20 largest arms-producing and military services companies globally in 2017, with three—AVIC, NORINCO and CETC—in the top 10. The new methodology improves the understanding of the structure, size and evolution of the global arms industry.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Weapons , Arms Trade, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Samuel Nursamsu, Dionisius Narjoko, Titik Anas
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Can firms reallocate their imported inputs to domestic sources when faced with import tariffs? To answer this question, we analyse the input allocation behaviour of Indonesian medium and large-sized manufacturing firms in responding to the movement of import tariffs from 2000 to 2013 by utilising plant-level input data of Indonesian manufacturing. We find that an increase in tariffs only creates a weak substitution effect. Our findings indicate that firms reallocate their inputs towards domestic sources, although this is accompanied by a decrease in the firms’ value added. This implies that domestic inputs are worse substitutes for imported inputs and that firms’ capacity to switch over to domestic products is limited, suggesting that firms will immediately switch back to importing when the tariff is removed. We find no evidence that firms make any adjustment towards more domestic-oriented input composition over time; and heterogeneity exists within the result, as industries with a strong basis in the domestic market are more capable of adjusting.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Tariffs, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Chin Hee Hahn, Yong-Seok Choi
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper aims to investigate whether empirical evidence supports the learning-to-export hypothesis, which has received little attention in the previous literature. By taking full advantage of plant–product level data from the Republic of Korea during 1990–1998, we find some evidence for the learning-to-export effect, especially for innovated product varieties with delayed exporters: their productivity, together with research and development and investment activity, was superior to their matched sample. On the other hand, this learning-to-export effect was not significantly pronounced for the industries protected by import tariffs. Thus, our empirical findings suggest that it would be desirable to implement some policy tools to promote the learning-to-export effect, while tariff protection cannot be justifiable for that purpose.
  • Topic: Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Tariffs, Manufacturing, Productivity
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Kazunobu Hayakawa, Tadashi Ito, Shujiro Urata
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The impacts of imports on the domestic labour market have been hotly debated recently. The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the effects of not only imports from China but also those under regional trade agreements (RTAs) on employment in Japan. As in previous studies in the literature, we found that the rise in import penetration from China significantly decreases employment in Japan. However, import penetration under RTA regimes is found to have insignificant effects on employment. The finding suggests that the increase in imports under RTA regimes might not be harmful to the domestic labour market. In addition, we did not find significant effects of import penetration via input–output linkages. This insignificant result may be because imports by Japanese manufacturing firms are mostly conducted in the form of intra-firm trade, enabling them to avoid negative impacts on employment.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Labor Issues, Employment, Manufacturing
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Đoàn Thi Thanh Ha, Hông Quỳnh Nguyen
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: It is well-documented that agglomeration contributes to productivity growth. However, concentrations of workers could also lead to increasing regional income disparities. Therefore, understanding the evolution of agglomeration is relevant for the formulation of industrial policy and inclusive growth. This study documents the extent, pattern, and determinants of agglomeration in Vietnamese manufacturing during 2002–2016, a period when substantial economic reform took place. Our major findings are three-fold. First, agglomeration, as measured by the Ellison–Glaeser index, has declined since the mid-2000s. Second, there exists significant sectoral heterogeneity in the level and trend of agglomeration. Third, we do not find a significant impact of trade and foreign direct investment on agglomeration per se. However, foreign direct investment in port districts does contribute to disagglomeration.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Reform, Manufacturing, Productivity
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Kiki Verico, Mari Pangestu
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the economic impact of globalisation in Indonesia from the end of the 1960s to date. The analysis found that globalisation generated a positive impact on Indonesia’s economic growth through the trade and investment channel; reduced wage inequality and child labour participation; and increased labour absorption, including women's participation in the labour market. Through the trade channel, globalisation also contributed to Indonesia’s productivity and structural economic transformation, benefited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), contributed to poverty alleviation and reduced inequality, and increased trade in services such as tourism. Through the investment channel, there is evidence of the spillover effect of technology transfer, technology progress, improvement of the role of SMEs, and contribution to poverty alleviation. The waves of open and more restrictive trade and investment policies, which Indonesia has gone through in the last few decades, reflect the political economy reality – that is, the impact of globalisation is dynamic and only felt in the medium term, whereas the cost and potential negative impact is often felt more immediately throughout trade creation. The trade creation increases imports from countries with which free trade agreements have been negotiated, decreasing the domestic producer surplus. Since globalisation will create net benefits in the long run, Indonesia should continue its process of globalisation and integration with the world economy to ensure the net benefits and to move forward in its structural transformation, while managing the costs of globalisation and its transition process.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: The last four years have borne witness to a range of new sanctions, policies, and approaches around the world. Some of these were predicted in November 2016, as Donald Trump took to sanctions far more than his predecessors, using them to tackle virtually every foreign policy problem he encountered. In fact, Trump’s use of sanctions transcended their typical usage in both form and content, as he employed tariffs and other more traditional “trade” tools to try to manage a bevy of nontrade problems. The long-term effects of this decision have yet to be felt or properly understood. It may be that Trump was ahead of the curve in seeing the fracturing of the global liberal economic order and employed the US economy for strategic advantage while it was still ahead. It may also be that Trump undermined the US position in the global economy through his policies, if not actually hastened the demise of this system of managing global economics. Time and the evolution of policy in other global power centers will eventually tell. The shifting approach to sanctions policy by a variety of other states is a manifestation of the potential effects of Trump’s policy choices in using US economic power. From the EU to Russia to China, other countries have changed long-standing policy approaches as they relate to sanctions, either to respond to or perhaps to take advantage of the new paths forged by the United States. The actions that they have taken are not “unprecedented” per se, as each of these countries or organizations has—at times—embraced policies that are consistent with some of these current actions. But, in aggregate, they describe an overall shift in how the world treats sanctions and trade policy, particularly that as practiced by the United States.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Akshay Mathur, Purvaja Modak
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, there has been a shift in global trade from trade in goods to trade in services. Unlike goods, services are intangible and consumed by the user directly, without intermediate supervision. Thus, the only way to ensure the quality of a service is to enforce standards on the service provider. This is the responsibility of domestic sector-specific regulatory institutions established by the government. This paper examines the current state of services trade in India and Canada, considers India’s services trade with Canada and outlines a number of measures the countries could take to support services trade.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Services, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Don Stephenson
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Like foreign policy, trade policy is the outward expression of domestic policy — both economic and social — and trade negotiations are to advance the national interest. Both India and Canada have important commercial interests in digital trade and both have counterbalancing social policy concerns, but they have important differences as well. Their equitable participation in digital trade must overcome an imbalanced competitive landscape through measures to facilitate access to technology and infrastructure, financing, and training in digital technology literacy and data-based business models. As yet, there is no international consensus on how trade rules should be adapted to foster digital trade. Consistent with the Track 1.5 Dialogue objectives, this paper calls on Canada and India to partner and lead in advancing the digital trade agenda. It recommends creating a bilateral process to identify common causes and areas for collaboration; convening a business-to-business conversation supported with research and analysis; and focusing on the impact of digital technology, looking at not only electronic commerce but also trade in traditional service sectors.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Digital Economy, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Amit Bhandari
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The energy sectors of India and Canada complement each other: India is a large and growing oil importer, while Canada is a large and growing exporter of oil and gas. However, as they invested in oil fields across the world, Indian oil companies have missed out on the Canada story. Investing in Canada’s oil sector can help India guard against the risk of spikes in oil prices and provide Canada with long-term demand security. In this paper, first presented as a backgrounder at Track 1.5 meetings in Mumbai, India, in November 2019, Gateway House outlines its findings on the feasibility of Indian investment in Canada’s petroleum sector, suggesting a path forward and best prospects for investment.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Gas, Investment
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Charles Pennaforte, Ricardo Luigi
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The two first decades of the 21 st Century were marked by the recrudescence of two powerhouses, Russia and China. Given their important role on global geopolitics, these two countries took advantage of the gaps resulted from yet another crisis on the structure of global capitalism, which influenced the relative decline of the United States capacity to impose its will on the international system as they had been able to do so since the end of World War II. This article’s objective is to analyze the global geopolitical rearrangement due to a weakened United States which opened the possibility for the BRICS nations to emerge as possible sources of power. To reinforce this analysis, the world-systems perspective, (here on referred to as WSP) elaborated mainly by Immanuel Wallerstein and Giovanni Arrighi is used, as well as a geopolitical approach to provide a link to international relations theories. Therefore, this paper is divided on to four sections. The first one interrelates the geopolitical theories and those of the WSP. The second section is guided towards understanding the origins and fundamentals of the WSP. On the third section, an approach is made towards the motivations and the effects of the rearrangement of power on the world’s geopolitics. Finally, on the last section, the roles and opportunities that have arisen from the emergence of the BRICS nations on the international system are presented.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Geopolitics, Capitalism
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, China, Europe, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Khalid Manzoor Butt, Sanwal Hussain Kharl, Khizar Abbass Bhatti
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Regional security order which is a complex combination of actors and factors is no longer associated exclusively with political and military might. Asia has experienced significant changes in its regional preponderance like economic interdependence and interconnectedness. The phenomenal economic growth of some countries is attributed to its ascendance. The Asian region has become a cauldron of global economic and geopolitical transformation. In this regard, the specter of Maritime Silk Road China with regards to Pakistan Economic Corridor and China Myanmar Economic Corridor are glaring examples enclusively in this region. They have heralded metamorphosis in the pearls of the string by providing an alternate route making Indian Ocean a hub for trans-regional connectivity through multifold alternative routes. History is witnessed for the benefits of certain alteration in the routes such the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. To find such alternation of routes in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has caused a competition between China and India which can have multiple effects.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Peace, Regionalism, Silk Road
  • Political Geography: Asia, Indian Ocean
  • Author: Muhammad Ikram
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The ̳One Belt One Road‘ term refers to ̳The Maritime Silk Road and the Silk Road Economic Belt. This mega initiative was announced by Chinese president, Xi Jiping, in September 2013 during his official state visit to Kazakhstan. Pakistan is most important pillar of this Chinese initiative. Under the One Belt One Road framework, several corridors will be built in future. Whereas, with the development of OBOR, regional economies will boost up to $2.5 trillion and more than 4.4 billion population will get benefits across 65 countries. The Silk Road Economic Belt will link China, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe through the Persian Gulf and South East Asia and Indian Ocean. However, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be built to connect the Pakistan's Port Gawadar with Chinese city of Kashagar in autonomous province Xinjiang. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is a game changer for the region and particularly for China and Pakistan, through the development of roads, railways, oil and gas pipe lines. Thus, the project brings wealth and prosperity across the region, particularly in Pakistan. But on the other hand, Pakistan is facing serious internal and external threats from terrorism and extremism since 2001. This work is an attempt to enlighten the prospects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and constraints in the way of this mega projects.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Infrastructure, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Peace, Economic Development , Silk Road
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, Asia
  • Author: Jasper Roctus
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been subject to ample scrutiny since its inception in 2013. Practical results could be said to be severely lacking in contrast to the project’s ambitious plans. Chinese engagement abroad has irrefutably intensified since Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012, but whether this can be classified as the fruits of BRI remains unclear. China, in fact, is developing BRI on the go. That gives the EU an opportunity to engage with BRI and remold it into a more desirable form. Because China increasingly sees Europe as BRI’s “final destination”, the EU has a lot more leverage than it commonly assumes.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Hegemony, European Union, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Philip Yang, Chen Cai, Gao Changlin, Luciana Gama Muniz, Marcelo Motta, Miguel Pinto Guimarães, Renata Fraga, Washington Fajardo
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Bilateral cooperation emerging from post-Covid-19 transformations brings challenges and opportunities, with the strengthening of digital cities standing out. This report presents the topics discussed in the webinar "Brazil-China post-Covid-19: The Digital City", held by CEBRI in partnership with the Embassy of China. Miguel Pinto Guimarães points out that "the future is being built by China over the last two decades at a fantastic growing speed that was made possible by planning, education, and intelligence". Chen Cai states that urban planning in large centers needs to be inclusive. "The objective of the smart cities is to have equality and services for everybody living in these cities, not only for some people."
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Cities, COVID-19, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Alastair Iain Johnston
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many scholars and policymakers in the United States accept the narrative that China is a revisionist state challenging the U.S.-dominated international liberal order. The narrative assumes that there is a singular liberal order and that it is obvious what constitutes a challenge to it. The concepts of order and challenge are, however, poorly operationalized. There are at least four plausible operationalizations of order, three of which are explicitly or implicitly embodied in the dominant narrative. These tend to assume, ahistorically, that U.S. interests and the content of the liberal order are almost identical. The fourth operationalization views order as an emergent property of the interaction of multiple state, substate, nonstate, and international actors. As a result, there are at least eight “issue-specific orders” (e.g., military, trade, information, and political development). Some of these China accepts; some it rejects; and some it is willing to live with. Given these multiple orders and varying levels of challenge, the narrative of a U.S.-dominated liberal international order being challenged by a revisionist China makes little conceptual or empirical sense. The findings point to the need to develop more generalizable ways of observing orders and compliance.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Information Age, Liberal Order
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Syed Fazl-e Haider
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the central component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South Asia, has been a source of significant attention and controversy (China Brief, January 12, 2018; China Brief, February 15). Parts of South Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Europe, however, are also host to another ambitious infrastructure program: the “International North-South Transport Corridor” (INSTC), a transportation development plan first established in 2000 by Iran, Russia and India. The INSTC envisions a network to connect Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf ports and rail centers to the Caspian Sea, and then onwards through the Russian Federation to St. Petersburg and northern Europe.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Middle East, India, Asia
  • Author: Dario Cristiani
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In March 2019, Italy and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) signed a broad and comprehensive, albeit not legally binding, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Italy to join the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This has triggered a significant debate—in Brussels as well as in Washington—about whether this decision signalled an Italian shift away from its historical pro-European and pro-Atlantic position, to a more nuanced position open to deepening strategic ties with China. The MoU is not definite proof of such a shift, and the Italian government has denied any strategic change. However, Italy is the first major European country, and the first Group of Seven (G7) member, to formalize its participation with the BRI project. As such, this development is particularly remarkable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Italy
  • Author: Umar Farooq, Asma Shakir Khawaja
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The article is intended to find out the geopolitical implications, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Researcher reviewed both published research articles and books to find out geopolitical implication, regional constraints and benefits of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. For this purpose, researcher also reviewed newspapers articles and published reports by government and non-governmental stakeholders working on CPEC. Review of the articles and reports indicated that CPEC had enormous benefits not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole region. But different internal and external stakeholders are not in favor of successful completion of this project. Extremism, sense of deprivation, lack of political consensus, political instability are some of the internal constraints. On the other hand, Afghanistan, India, Iran, UAE and USA are posing constraints to halt the successful completion of CPEC.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Violent Extremism, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Iran, South Asia, India, Asia, Punjab, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
  • Author: Kanwal Hayat, Rehana Saeed Hashmi
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: China claims South China Sea as its sovereign domain where it possesses the right to intervene militarily and economically. However, USA considers South China Sea as a common global passage where rule of law and freedom of navigation should prevail.These diverging viewpoints coexist in a wobbly peace environment where both US and China want their own version of international law to be applied and have occasionally resorted to minor armed conflicts over this issue. Every state claiming authority over South China Sea is willing to use coercion in order to get what they want, however, the extent of how far they are willing to go is not clear. This is resulting in a show of gunboat diplomacy involving maritime force of influential states that strives to manipulate the policy makers of the relevant nations (Costlow, 2012). The paper will focus on the situation in the South China Sea. South China Sea is not only claimed by China but various other Asian nations. Does this territorial strife possess the power to turn the region into a war zone? Being one of the most active trade routes in the world having complicated geography and the diverging regional and international interests makes it very sensitive area. China being the emerging economic giant gives competition to the USA in many spheres. Although America has no territorial claim in the South China Sea, it has strategic and economic interests. Where China wants a complete hegemonic control of the area, USA wants to find a way where free unchecked trade could be the future for all.Accompanied with numerous other South Asian nations claiming various portions of the region, a constant tension exists in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes, Hegemony, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America, Oceans
  • Author: A. Z. Hilali
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a set of projects under China‟s Belt and Road initiative, marks a new era of economic ties in a bilateral relationship between the two traditional friends. The multi-dimensional project will not only reform Pakistan economy but it will serve for people‟s prosperity and will help to revive the country economy of both countries. The visions of project partners are clear and the goals of the short term, mid-term and long-term plans of CPEC have been identified. So, the CPEC is not just a transit route for China and Pakistan‟s exports but it will transform Pakistan‟s economy and overcome its problems such as unemployment, energy, underdevelopment, and overall external economic dependency by building capacity in all necessary sectors. Therefore, CPEC could promote economic development and growth which will open new avenues and investment to the country which is based on shared partnership of cooperation, mutual benefits and sustainability. Thus, the CPEC is a grand porgramme and will deliver the economic gains to both China-Pakistan and it can be executed more efficiently and in a balanced way to serve the interests of both the countries. The project of CPEC is also important to China‟s energy and strategic security with reference to South China Sea and other regional and global players. Thus, CPEC could bring economic avenues to Pakistan and can improve regional economic and trade activities for greater development and prosperity. It has perceived that the project will not only foster socio-economic development but it will also reduce the level of political humidity and will be source of peace and harmony between the traditional adversaries. It has also assumed that regional economic integration through CPEC could be a harbinger to resolve the political differences by economic cooperation and regional economic connection could make 21st century the Asian century setting aside the perennial political issues to start a new beginning. Thus, in a longer perspective the CPEC can foster an economic community in the entire region of Asia and beyond if its vision is materialized in its true sense. The time will prove that the CPEC reap its fruits and will be advantages for not only Pakistan and China but for the entire region.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Power Politics, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Jie Bai, Jiahua Liu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is well known that various forms of non-tariff trade barriers exist within a country. Empirically, it is difficult to measure these barriers as they can take many forms. We take advantage of a nationwide VAT rebate policy reform in China as a natural experiment to identify the existence of these intranational barriers due to local protectionism and study the impact on exports and exporting firms. As a result of shifting tax rebate burden, the reform leads to a greater incentive of the provincial governments to block the domestic flow of non-local goods to local export intermediaries. We develop an open-economy heterogenous firm model that incorporates multiple domestic regions and multiple exporting technologies, including the intermediary sector. Consistent with the model’s predictions, we find that rising local protectionism leads to a reduction in interprovincial trade, more “inward-looking” sourcing behavior of local intermediaries, and a reduction in manufacturing exports. Analysis using micro firm-level data further shows that private companies with greater baseline reliance on export intermediaries are more adversely affected.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform, Tariffs
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jie Bai, Panle Barwick, Shengmao Cao, Shanjun Li
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Are quid pro quo (technology for market access) policies effective in facilitating knowledge spillover to developing countries? We study this question in the context of the Chinese automobile industry where foreign firms are required to set up joint ventures with domestic firms in return for market access. Using a unique dataset of detailed quality measures along multiple dimensions of vehicle performance, we document empirical patterns consistent with knowledge spillovers through both ownership affiliation and geographical proximity: joint ventures and Chinese domestic firms with ownership or location linkage tend to specialize in similar quality dimensions. The identification primarily relies on within-product variation across quality dimensions and the results are robust to a variety of specifications. The pattern is not driven by endogenous joint-venture network formation, overlapping customer base, or learning by doing considerations. Leveraging additional micro datasets on part suppliers and worker flow, we document that supplier network and labor mobility are important channels in mediating knowledge spillovers. However, these channels are not tied to ownership affiliations. Finally, we calibrate a simple learning model and conduct policy counterfactuals to examine the role of quid pro quo. Our findings show that ownership affiliation facilitates learning but quality improvement is primarily driven by the other mechanisms.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Developing World
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jie Bai, Ludovica Gazze, Yukun Wang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Collective reputation implies an important externality. Among firms trading internationally, quality shocks about one firm’s products could affect the demand of other firms from the same origin country. We study this issue in the context of a large-scale scandal that affected the Chinese dairy industry in 2008. Leveraging rich firm-product level administrative data and official quality inspection reports, we find that the export revenue of contaminated firms dropped by 84% after the scandal, relative to the national industrial trend, and the spillover effect on non-contaminated firms is measured at 64% of the direct effect. Notably, firms deemed innocent by government inspections did not fare any better than noninspected firms. These findings highlight the importance of collective reputation in international trade and the challenges governments might face in signaling quality and restoring trust. Finally, we investigate potential mechanisms that could mediate the strength of the reputation spillover. We find that the spillover effects are smaller in destinations where people have better information about parties involved in the scandal. New firms are more vulnerable to the collective reputation damage than established firms. Supply chain structure matters especially in settings where firms are less vertically integrated and exhibit fragmented upstream-downstream relationships.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Business , Global Political Economy, Accountability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Victor Carneiro Corrêa Vieira
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: In 1946, Mao Zedong began to elaborate his theory of the Third World from the perception that there would be an ‘intermediate zone’ of countries between the two superpowers. From there, he concluded that Africa, Latin America, and Asia, except for Japan, would compose the revolutionary forces capable of defeating imperialism, colonialism, and hegemonism. The start of international aid from the People’s Republic of China to developing countries dates back to the period immediately after the Bandung Conference of 1955, extending to the present. Through a bibliographical and documentary analysis, the article starts with the following research question: What role did domestic and international factors play in China’s foreign aid drivers over the years? To answer the question, the evolution of Chinese international assistance was studied from Mao to the Belt and Road Initiative, which is the complete expression of the country’s ‘quaternity’ model of co-operation, combining aid, trade, investment, and technical assistance.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Chas W. Freeman Jr.
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has declared economic war on China. The United States has raised taxes on Chinese imports to levels not seen since the Smoot–Hawley tariffs of the Great Depression. Over the course of this year, Chinese imports of American goods have decreased by 26.4 percent, while China’s exports to the United States are down 10.7 percent. Washington has embargoed exports to China of a constantly expanding list of high-tech manufactures. It seeks to block Chinese telecommunications companies from third-country markets. The United States has mounted a vigorous campaign to persuade other countries to reject Chinese investments in their infrastructure, notably in the case of 5G telecommunications networks.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy, Trade Wars, International Community, Exports
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Vivid Lam, Oenone Kubie, Christopher McKenna
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Case Study
  • Institution: Oxford Centre for Global History
  • Abstract: Pingyao (平遥) is a remote place for a tourist attraction. Located in the centre of Shanxi province, it is some 380 miles from Beijing and further from Shanghai or Hong Kong where the tourists tend to congregate. Yet, despite the isolation, come they do to Pingyao. The nearest airport to Pingyao is in Tiayuan, over one hundred kilometres away, so most visitors arrive by coach or by train; along the poorly paved streets and past the decaying houses until they arrive in the middle of the city. Here the tourists disembark from their coaches and their trains and find themselves transported to the days of the Qing dynasty emperors, surrounded by imperial architecture. The tourists wander slowly towards West Street. This is the home of the most popular attraction: the headquarters of Ri Sheng Chang (日昇), a late Qing company which revolutionised Chinese banking, now a museum and an increasingly busy tourist attraction. This is the story of how it came to be and how the little city in a small province in China rose to prominence, became the financial centre of the world’s largest economy, fell to obscurity and, now, rises again.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, History, Capitalism, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Sylvie Cornot-Gandolphe
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The major transformations that are occurring on the Chinese gas market have profound repercussions on the global gas and LNG markets, especially on trade, investment and prices. In just two years, China has become the world’s first gas importer and is on track to become the largest importer of Liquefied natural gas (LNG). China alone explained 63% of the net global LNG demand growth in 2018 and now accounts for 17% of global LNG imports. The pace and scale of China’s LNG imports have reshaped the global LNG market. Over the past two years, fears of an LNG supply glut have largely been replaced by warnings that the lack of investments in new LNG capacity would lead to a supply shortage in the mid-2020s unless more LNG production project commitments are made soon. There is now a bullish outlook for future global LNG demand which has encouraged companies to sanction additional LNG projects, based on the anticipated supply shortage. China’s gas imports can be expected to continue to grow strongly, from 120 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2018 to up to 300 bcm by 2030.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Gas
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Xu Chunyang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The Chinese nuclear industry is actively pursuing international trade under China’s new “Go Global” policy. This development could strain Chinese nuclear export control systems in the coming decades. This paper investigates the evolution of the Chinese nuclear export control regime from the late 1970s to the present, describes the current state of the Chinese export control system, and investigates recent Chinese efforts to build a more robust system. It finds that although the Chinese strategic export control systems have grown tremendously since they first took shape and the capacity of the government to implement these controls has grown as well, significant improvements in both the legal basis for the controls and the capacity of institutions involved are still needed, including in how current laws define exports, in how government bodies are equipped to investigate violations, and in how violations are prosecuted. The Ministry of the Commerce is preparing a new “Export Control Law” that is expected to come into effect soon and to provide the basis for more robust controls that address many of the deficiencies identified above. The Chinese government’s growing commitment to undertaking its international obligations and safeguarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy provides reason for optimism, but in the near term, the effectiveness of these corrective efforts will depend on the completion, implementation, and enforcement of the new law.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: John Edwards
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The outlines of a trade deal between the United States and China are there. But without a return to the negotiating table, the dispute could rapidly escalate, magnifying the damage to world growth. With the Osaka G20 meeting looming, Chinese analysts and policymakers visited in Beijing are pessimistic about the prospects for a trade deal with the United States. If they are right, global financial markets are in for a much wilder shock than anything yet seen in this quarrel. Yet much of a deal has already been agreed, while the consequences of not reaching a deal have become increasingly dire.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Trade Wars, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Roland Rajah
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: East Asia is no longer reliant on US or Western markets to fuel its growth, giving it more room to manage amid global trade tensions. Heightened global trade tensions and the US desire to ‘decouple’ from the Chinese economy for national security reasons pose significant risks to East Asia’s export-driven growth model. However, the latest data suggests East Asia is no longer so dependent on exporting to the West, with China in particular eclipsing the United States as the leading source of ‘final demand’ for the rest of the region’s exports. This gives East Asia much greater room to manoeuvre, as regional integration is now a more viable platform for growth while US decoupling efforts will likely struggle to find traction in the region.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Exports
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Nakgyoon Choi
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: Recently, international trade has become regional rather than global. This paper aims to test if deeper regional integration contributes to the organization of global value chains along the regional clusters including Asia, Europe, and America. We estimate the impacts of deep regional integrations on global value chains by region, investigating the implications of mega FTAs for global value chains by scenario. We use not only data on trade in value added but also global value chains participation indexes which reflect the global value chains better than domestic value added in goods and services exports. The estimation results reveal that a deep regional trade agreement has heterogeneous effects on global value chains depending on the regional clusters. In particular, Asia turns out to import more intermediate goods than Europe and America while RTA member countries tend to import more intermediate goods from Europe than Asia and America.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Regional Integration, Economic Policy, Exports
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Global Focus, North America
  • Author: Olena Ivus, Marta Paczos
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, Canada has adopted the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Like other modern international trade agreements, CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA include protections for innovators’ profits and technologies in the form of intellectual property rights (IPRs) regulations. These trade agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in goods and innovation with sensitive intellectual property (IP) in Canada, as well as having an impact on global welfare distribution. But is Canada’s membership in these agreements good for Canadian firms looking to compete globally? This paper begins with a review of the IP protections instituted through recent trade deals involving Canada. It discusses the nature and scope of Canada’s IP obligations under CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA and explains how these obligations fit within the current Canadian legal framework. The changes in the standards of IPRs under these agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in IP-sensitive goods, innovation and global welfare distribution and so deserve thorough debate. The paper then proceeds with a broader discussion of the reasons to include IP provisions in international trade agreements and the rationale for international coordination of the IPRs policy. Next, the paper discusses how IP provisions in trade agreements limit the freedom to use IP policy to promote national interests, while acknowledging that the various IP obligations are counterbalanced by several flexibilities, including the right to establish local exhaustion policies. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Innovation, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Patrick Leblond
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On the margins of the Group of Twenty leaders’ meeting in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29, 2019, Canada and 23 others signed the Osaka Declaration on the Digital Economy. This declaration launched the “Osaka Track,” which reinforces the signatories’ commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations on “trade-related aspects of electronic commerce.” In this context, unlike its main economic partners (China, the European Union and the United States), Canada has yet to decide its position. The purpose of this paper is thus to help Canada define its position in those negotiations. To do so, it offers a detailed analysis of the e-commerce/digital trade chapters found in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), the North American Free Trade Agreement’s replacement, in order to identify the potential constraints that these agreements could impose on the federal government’s ability to regulate data nationally as it seeks to establish a trusting digital environment for consumers and businesses. The analysis leads to the conclusion that Canada’s CPTPP and CUSMA commitments could ultimately negate the effectiveness of future data protection policies that the federal government might want to adopt to create trust in the data-driven economy. As a result, Canada should not follow the United States’ position in the WTO negotiations. Instead, the best thing that Canada could do is to push for a distinct international regime (i.e., separate from the WTO) to govern data and its cross-border flows.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, European Union, Digital Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Canada, Asia, North America
  • Author: Idris Ademuyiwa, Pierre Siklos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Recent events have the potential to reverse the positive macroeconomic performance of the global economy and trigger a slowdown in both global growth and international trade. In particular, the implications of ongoing trade disputes that have undermined trust in the existing multilateral cooperation system and the incentive for countries to align with ongoing global policy coordination efforts. A compelling case for a mutually beneficial resolution of these tensions can be made by emphasizing the interdependence of the Group of Twenty (G20) economies — the G20 being the premier repository of international cooperation in economic and political matters. This study also considers the state of trade globalization, with an emphasis on the performance of the G20. The emergence of geopolitical risks (GPRs), that is, events that heighten tensions between countries and therefore threaten global economic performance, is an attempt to quantify the potential economic impact of the nexus between politics and economics. In the presence of heightened political risks, negative economic effects become more likely. Nevertheless, there is no empirical evidence investigating the links between the real economy, trade, the state of the financial sector, commodity prices and GPRs. Moreover, there is no evidence on these links that has a sample of countries that make up the G20. This paper begins to fill this gap. Relying on descriptive and statistical evidence, the conclusion is drawn that GPRs represent a significant factor that threatens global economic growth and economic performance, in the G20 countries in particular. Ultimately, however, GPRs reflect other factors, including threats stemming from trade tensions and large swings in commodity prices.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Walter
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: This special report explores the role of emerging-country members in the Basel process, a key aspect of global financial standard setting. It argues that this process has been significantly more politically resilient than adjacent aspects of global economic governance, in part because major emerging countries have perceived continuing “intra-club” benefits from participation within it. Most important among these are learning benefits for key actors within these countries, including incumbent political leaders. Although some emerging countries perceive growing influence over the international financial standard-setting process, many implicitly accept limited influence in return for learning benefits, which are valuable because of the complexity of contemporary financial systems and the sustained policy challenges it creates for advanced and emerging countries alike. The importance of learning benefits also differentiates the Basel process from other international economic organizations in which agenda control and influence over outcomes are more important for emerging-country governments. This helps to explain the relative resilience of the Basel process in the context of continued influence asymmetries and the wider fragmentation of global economic governance. The report also considers some reforms that could further improve the position of emerging countries in the process and bolster its perceived legitimacy among them.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: For years China has been one of the world’s most rapidly growing sources of outward foreign direct investment. Since peaking in 2016, however, Chinese outward investments, primarily to the United States but also the European Union, have declined dramatically, especially in response to changes in China’s domestic rules on capital outflows and in the face of rising nationalism in the United States. Concerns about growing Chinese influence in other economies, the ascendant role of an authoritarian government in Beijing, and the possible security implications of Chinese dominance in the high-technology sector have put Chinese outward investments under intense international scrutiny. This Policy Brief analyzes the most recent trends in Chinese investments in the United States and the European Union and reviews recent political and regulatory changes both have adopted toward Chinese inward investments. It also explores the emerging transatlantic difference in the regulatory response to the Chinese information technology firm Huawei. Concerned about national security and as part of the ongoing broader trade friction with China, the United States has cracked down far harder on the company than the European Union.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, National Security, Foreign Direct Investment, Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Chad P. Bown
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 2018, the United States suddenly increased tariffs on nearly 50 percent of its imports from China. China immediately retaliated with tariffs on more than 70 percent of imports from the United States. This paper assesses what happened in 2018 and attempts to explain why. It first constructs a new measure of special tariff protection to put the sheer scope and coverage of the 2018 actions into historical context. It then uses the lens provided by the 2018 special tariffs to explain the key sources of economic and policy friction between the two countries. This includes whether China’s state-owned enterprises and industrial subsidies, as well as China’s development strategy and system of forcibly acquiring foreign technology, were imposing increasingly large costs on trading partners. Finally, it also examines whether the US strategy to provoke a crisis—which may result in a severely weakened World Trade Organization—was deliberate and out of frustration with the institution itself.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Bilateral Relations, Trade Wars, Donald Trump, Imports
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Pasha L. Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: This article examines the evolution of Taiwan’s relationship with Singapore since the 1960s as a unique case study in the Asia-Pacific. The theoretical concept of recognition in international relations (IR) and its nexus with international law are used to analyze the conclusion of the bilateral military and trade agreements absent diplomatic relations. The article argues that beyond security dimensions, the two states’ struggles for recognition exhibit the formation of national identities, which invigorate the claims for sovereign state status in global politics. First, this article explores the emerging notion of recognition in IR and sheds light on the significance of Taiwan’s presidential visit to Singapore under its one-China policy. Second, it explains Singapore’s pursuit of external sovereignty that led to substantive defense cooperation with Taiwan, as well as the role of Lee Kuan Yew in facilitating Beijing–Taipei negotiations. Finally, it assesses contemporary developments such as the inking of the Taiwan–Singapore free trade agreement and the first-ever summit between the presidents of China and Taiwan in Singapore. Hence, the political and legal analysis of Singapore–Taiwan relations enriches the study of IR and contributes to the understanding of the foreign policy of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Military Affairs, Trade
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, Singapore
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: The Trump Administration has taken an aggressive line on US-China trade issues. Starting with steel and aluminum tariffs in March 2018, the United States has gradually imposed a number of tariffs on various Chinese goods. China responded in turn to each round. Recent negotiations, though initially fruitful, foundered on issues of Chinese subsidies and what US trade representative Robert Lighthizer described as “an erosion in commitments by China.” Now the escalation cycle has resumed. According to surveys conducted in 2018 among foreign policy opinion leaders by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the University of Texas, and the results of the 2018 Chicago Council Survey of the general US public, concerns about a potential trade war between the United States and China were already widespread before this most recent escalation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, Public Opinion, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Craig Kafura
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Abstract: Over the past 18 months, the United States and China have engaged in a steady escalation of tariffs. Beginning with steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration in March 2018, the trade conflict has expanded to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in bilateral trade. Recent rounds of negotiations have made no new progress and have led to both sides escalating further. The most recent US tariffs on Chinese imports went into effect on September 1, covering $112 billion of goods. Beijing has countered with retaliatory tariffs and has halted all agricultural purchases from the United States, a move targeted at already-struggling US farmers. While Americans broadly support engaging in trade with China, they are split along partisan lines on how to engage in that trade. Republicans support raising tariffs on Chinese imports and believe it will help the US economy in the long run, while Democrats oppose doing so and believe it will be harmful.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations, Tariffs, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Miaojie Yu, Huihuang Zhu
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Understanding the role of international trade is the key to understanding China’s miraculous economic growth. This paper reviews the literature on international trade in the context of China, with a focus on processing trade, trade liberalisation, and firmperformance to provide a better understanding of China’s experience of opening up over the past four decades.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Economic Growth, Trade Liberalization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Cassey Lee
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The economic development of Malaysia has been strongly driven and shaped by globalisation, from the pre-colonial to the post-independence period. The country has harnessed trade, foreign capital, and foreign labour to grow and has transformed its economy from one that was highly dependent on primary commodities (tin and rubber) into one driven by manufactured exports. The impact of globalisation on the Malaysian economy has changed through the various phases of its development experience. The early phases of the country’s engagement with globalisation reduced poverty and inequality. In later stages, excessive dependence on low-skilled foreign labour, although beneficial initially, may have compromised the competitiveness of the economy. Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society has also posed considerable challenges in the balancing of domestic needs and benefits with greater engagement with globalisation. The openness of the Malaysian economy has also made it vulnerable to global economic shocks.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Inequality, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, Asia
  • Author: Archanun Kohpaiboon
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The paper reviews empirical works examining the effect of globalisation in Thailand, beginning with a discussion of its integration into the economy. Three drivers of economic globalisation are emphasised: international trade, foreign direct investment, and cross-border labour mobility. The findings point to globalisation’s potential to create a favourable economic impact. Opening up to international trade could promote productivity and drive economic growth. Large foreign direct investment inflows enticed by export-oriented industrialisation are likely to generate horizontal technological spillovers within a given industry; vertical spillovers through the linkages were not a robust result. There is no evidence that employing foreign workers retards firm productivity; rather, the opposite is the case. Well-performing firms are in a position to attract foreign workers and maintain production capacity. Global production sharing (GPS) does not necessarily mean the participating countries are trapped at the low end of the quality ladder. The Thai experience supports the case for further globalising its economy. Any possible side effects of globalisation can be mitigated by other policies such as strengthening the social safety net.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Labor Issues, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Gordon de Brouwer, Shiro Armstrong, Adam Triggs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ongoing shift in global economic weight to the Indo-Pacific1 presents tremendous opportunities for the United States and Australia, along with risks and significant challenges. Both countries share a deep strategic interest in working together to keep Asian markets open, contestable, and rules-based. In doing so, Washington and Canberra can help maximize the prosperity and security of the American and Australian people, as well as those in the region. It is an opportunity too great to miss.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Dylan Gerstel, Pearl Risberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the United States and China mark their 40th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations in 2019, the world’s most important bilateral relationship is increasingly defined by mistrust, competition, and uncertainty. After four decades of deepening economic integration, the talk in Washington today is about the extent to which the two economies will “decouple” over the years ahead. In a recent study, the CSIS Simon Chair drew on several different academic disciplines to model how an economic conflict between the United States and China could escalate and eventually de-escalate. Our findings suggest that economic conflict is likely to be an enduring feature of the U.S.-China relationship for many years to come. Until perceptions of relative costs in the two countries shift, Washington and Beijing seem set on a path of continued escalation, no substantial trade deal, and at least partial decoupling of their economies.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Conflict, Trade Policy, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jude Blanchette, Qiu Mingda
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: After two days of intense talks with United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his delegation crossed the street to the White House on the afternoon of October 11th to meet with President Donald Trump for the first time since the negotiations collapsed in May. The visit marked the 13th round of the bilateral trade talks and concluded with an announcement from the Oval Office of a “phase one” agreement. According to President Trump, this included China’s commitment to purchase $40-50 billion of U.S. agricultural products and a pledge to strengthen its intellectual property protection regime domestically. Moreover, Beijing would make still-unknown adjustments to how it manages its currency, the renminbi. For its part, the United States delayed a scheduled tariff hike on $250 billion of Chinese goods from 25% to 30% on October 15th. In addition, the Treasury Department would potentially review its previous decision to designate China a currency manipulator. All in all, it seemed to mark a turning point in the bilateral tensions. According to a tweet from President Trump two days later, this was the beginning of a larger deal that would be spread over three phases and that would benefit American farmers and potentially put an end to the trade hostilities between the two nations. In short, he tweeted, “the relationship with China is very good.” Though he acknowledged that the actual terms of any deal are still being worked out, the President repeatedly expressed optimism that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could ink a deal by mid-November during their meeting at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Santiago, Chile. Unfortunately, such confidence is misplaced. The decided lack of details on the scope, timing and mechanics of the phase one announcement is an indication of just how preliminary the agreement is. Second, Beijing remains unwilling to make more substantive concessions on core structural issues, ranging from its preferential treatment of its state-owned enterprises to a credible commitment that it will protect the intellectual property of foreign companies. Finally, even if phase one comes to fruition, this won’t do much to reduce the uncertainty that likely will define the U.S.-China relationship for years to come, as both countries begin to openly acknowledge that they are entering a period of prolonged strategic rivalry.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dic Lo, Yue Teng
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: This paper explores the determinants of developing countries' export upgrading measured by export sophistication. In particular, as a response to the recent debate on China's impact on developing countries' industrialisation, we examine a new hypothesis that the considerable growth in developing countries' trade with China may serve as a source of productive investment for their export upgrading. Dynamic panel estimations based on HS 6-digit export data on 62 developing countries during 1995-2014 show the positive effects of human capital, productive investment, and absolute gains from trade with China measured by income terms of trade vis-à-vis China. Mediation analysis finds that the positive effect of trade with China on export upgrading takes effect largely through its enhancing effect on productive investment, which supports our hypothesis. By contrast, China's direct export-downgrading impact is minor. Our findings suggest that, for developing countries, China serves more as a stimulator of capital accumulation for industrial development than a competitor in manufacturing market or a predator of natural resources. This provides an alternative to the widespread argument of China's crowding-out and re- primarisation impact on developing countries. The priority for developing countries is therefore the appropriate use of the gains from trade for productive purposes.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Investment, Exports, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andy Green, Daniella Zessoules
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: In recent decades, economic, political, and technological barriers to international trade and investment have collapsed around the world. This rapid globalization of commerce has lifted many out of poverty in developing countries, but due in part to a lack of meaningful labor and environmental standards and enforcement, it has also resulted in an outsourcing of production and jobs as well as downward pressure on workers’ real wages in developed countries such as the United States.1 The key trade agreements and international institutions put in place to manage globalization, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), have failed to rebalance the rules to enable globalization to work on behalf of all workers—not just in the United States, but in Mexico, China, and more broadly. And in many cases, the trade rules have exacerbated economic pressures on many U.S. workers.2 For years, progressive voices in the United States have called for efforts to make globalization work better for working families, communities, and the environment.3 Now, the Trump administration has sought claim to the trade reform mantle. Those claims, however, should be met with skepticism. The 2017 congressional Republican tax law slashed taxes for corporations and the wealthy on the false promise of raising wages for workers.4 Corporate profits, share buybacks, and mergers and acquisitions have all boomed, but working-class wages have barely budged.5 The international provisions of the 2017 tax law further incentivize offshoring operations at the expense of domestic investments and sourcing.6 The Trump administration’s domestic economic agenda of financial deregulation, budget cuts, and attacks on workplace safety and labor rights protections will simply make matters worse for working families. The administration’s record on trade policy has been mixed and largely incoherent. The president railed against NAFTA and other trade agreements for harming workers and U.S. jobs yet renegotiated a new NAFTA deal that fails to make labor and environmental standards meaningfully enforceable.7 His administration has slapped tariffs on adversaries and allies alike with little strategy—often in the name of national security and without addressing the root causes of the problem. Threatening further tariffs, the administration now is engaged in negotiations with China over intellectual property theft, market access for foreign multinationals, and a state-led industrial strategy.8 The president announced a delay in the additional tariffs, suggesting a deal with China is coming together, but concerns have long existed that the administration may settle for high-profile spot sales of U.S. commodities while effectively letting structural impediments and China’s industrial policies continue.9 The cost of what may be President Donald Trump’s high-profile deal with China could be real concessions for the United States, including in the technology and national security space, without providing lasting, solidly enforceable benefits more broadly.10 As U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer makes his first appearance this week before the new U.S. House of Representatives, the Trump administration will finally have to answer for its approach. Here are several questions that Congress should ask in order to hold the administration accountable to the American people.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Brad Parks
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It’s 2028. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been underway for 15 years, but the initial enthusiasm and momentum behind BRI has vanished. Many of the governments that initially joined the initiative have publicly withdrawn or quietly wound down their participation. China’s staunchest allies remain engaged but even they have reservations about the wisdom of the initiative. They are saddled with unproductive public investment projects and struggling to service their debts. Domestic public sentiment towards China has soured, and they have come to view their participation in BRI as more of a political liability than an asset. But they worry about the consequences of alienating their most important patron and creditor. China has also assumed a defensive posture. Lacking the goodwill that it possessed at the beginning of BRI, it is now using inducements and threats to prevent its remaining clients from abandoning the initiative. Western donors and lenders watch from the sidelines with a sense of bemusement. They encouraged China to “multilateralize” BRI by establishing a common set of project appraisal standards, procurement guidelines, fiduciary controls, and social and environmental safeguards that other aid agencies and development banks could support. But Beijing chose to go it alone. It opted not to embrace the use of economic rate-of-return analysis to vet project proposals; resisted efforts to harmonize its environmental, social, and fiduciary safeguards with those used by aid agencies and development banks outside of China; and pushed back on the “Western” suggestion that it modernize its monitoring and evaluation practices. China bet that its fast and flexible approach to infrastructure finance would prove to be so compelling that traditional donors and lenders would eventually jump on the bandwagon and co-finance BRI projects. But it miscalculated. Its model was insufficiently attractive on its merits to enlist the participation and support of the other major players in the bilateral and multilateral development finance market. Nor was it sufficiently appealing to sustain elite and public support in partner countries.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Infrastructure, Leadership, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
  • Political Geography: China, Asia