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79 posts on "International Economics"

August 13, 2018

Do Import Tariffs Help Reduce Trade Deficits?



LSE_2018_deficit_amiti_460_art

Import tariffs are on the rise in the United States, with a long list of new tariffs imposed in the last few months—25 percent on steel imports, 10 percent on aluminum, and 25 percent on $50 billion of goods from China—and possibly more to come. One of the objectives of these new tariffs is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, which stood at $568.4 billion in 2017 (2.9 percent of GDP). The fact that the United  States imports far more than it exports is viewed by some as unfair, so the idea is to try to reduce the amount that the nation imports from the rest of the world. While more costly imports are likely to reduce the quantity and value of imports into the United States, the story does not stop there, because we cannot presume that the value of exports will remain unchanged. In this post, we argue that U.S. exports will also fall, not only because of other countries’ retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, but also because the costs for U.S. firms producing goods for export will rise and make U.S. exports less competitive on the world market. The end result is likely to be lower imports and lower exports, with little or no improvement in the trade deficit.

Continue reading "Do Import Tariffs Help Reduce Trade Deficits?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Exports, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (6)

July 20, 2018

The Transatlantic Economy Ten Years after the Crisis: Macro-Financial Scenarios and Policy Responses



LSE_The Transatlantic Economy Ten Years after the Crisis: Macro-Financial Scenarios and Policy Responses

The Transatlantic Economy Ten Years after the Crisis: Macro-Financial Scenarios and Policy Response,” was the focus of a conference, jointly organized by the New York Fed, the European Commission, and the Centre for Economic Policy Research in April 2018. These three institutions had previously collaborated on a series of events related to transatlantic economic relations, including a workshop in April 2014 and a conference in April 2016. Ten years after the global financial crisis, this conference came at a crucial time in the history of the relationship between the United States and the European Union, and provided an opportunity to revisit and assess recent policy responses. A number of questions were addressed by the panelists: Is the world economy back on a sustainable growth path or have we entered a secular stagnation era with persistently low interest rates and inflation? How large are the spillovers of monetary and fiscal policies? Have we done enough to maintain financial stability and deal with cross-border resolution issues, which have been one of the most vexing topics in the regulatory space?

Continue reading "The Transatlantic Economy Ten Years after the Crisis: Macro-Financial Scenarios and Policy Responses" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in International Economics, Macroecon | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 30, 2018

Good News, Leverage, and Sudden Stops



LSE_Good News, Leverage, and Sudden Stops


One of the major debates in open economy macroeconomics is the extent to which capital inflows are beneficial for growth. In principle, these flows allow countries to increase their consumption and investment spending beyond their income by enabling them to tap into foreign saving. Periods of such borrowing, however, are associated with large trade deficits, external debt accumulation, and, in some cases, overheating when these economies operate beyond their potential output level for an extended period of time. The relevant question in this context is whether the rate at which a country is taking on external debt has useful predictive information about financial crises.

Continue reading "Good News, Leverage, and Sudden Stops" »

April 19, 2018

Will New Steel Tariffs Protect U.S. Jobs?



LSE_Will New Steel Tariffs Protect U.S. Jobs?

President Trump announced a new tariff of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports on March 8, 2018. One objective of these tariffs is to protect jobs in the U.S. steel industry. They were introduced under a rarely used 1962 Act, which allows the government to impose trade barriers for national security reasons. Although the tariffs were initially to apply to all trading partners, Canada and Mexico are currently exempt subject to NAFTA negotiations, and implementation of the tariffs for the European Union, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil has been paused. South Korea has received a permanent exemption from the steel tariffs and will instead be subject to a quota of 70 percent of its current average steel exports to the United States. In this post, we consider how the steel tariffs could affect U.S. trade and employment. We focus on steel since the steel industry employs about three times as many workers as the aluminum industry, although qualitatively our conclusions apply to both. We argue that the new tariffs are likely to lead to a net loss in U.S. employment, at least in the short to medium run.

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Posted by Blog Author at 10:00 AM in Employment, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 22, 2018

Just Released: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria



LSE_2018_Just Released: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria

An examination of the fallout from Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the economies of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands was the focus of an economic press briefing today at the New York Fed. Both U.S. territories were suffering from significant economic downturns and fiscal stress well before the storms hit in September 2017, raising concerns about their paths to recovery.

Continue reading "Just Released: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricanes Irma and Maria" »

February 21, 2018

The Evolution of Mexico’s Merchandise Trade Balance



LSE_2018_The Evolution of Mexico’s Merchandise Trade Balance

Mexico runs a trade surplus with the United States owing to oil exports and cross-border supply chains, with imported U.S. components assembled in Mexico and then exported back to the United States. At the same time, Mexico runs a large trade deficit with Asia, the result of a surge of imports from that region over the past two decades. From Mexico’s perspective, this growing deficit with Asia has worked to offset an increasing trade surplus with the United States. More recently, the country’s merchandise balance suffered a substantial deterioration with the collapse of petroleum prices in late 2014. The balance has subsequently staged a modest recovery, as Mexico’s demand for Asian goods in 2016 cooled while the surplus with the United States (excluding petroleum trade) continues to trend higher. These developments have helped Mexico reduce its need to borrow more from the world to make up for lost petroleum export revenues.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Exports, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)

January 17, 2018

Did Import Competition Boost Household Debt Demand?



LSE_Did Import Competition Boost Household Debt Demand?t

In the years preceding the Great Recession, the United States experienced a dramatic rise in household debt and an unprecedented increase in import competition. In a recent staff report, we outline a link between these two seemingly unrelated phenomena. We argue that the displacement of workers exposed to import competition fueled their demand for mortgage credit, which left many households more vulnerable to the eventual downturn in the housing market.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in International Economics, Mortgages | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 06, 2017

What Drives International Bank Credit?



LSE_2017_What Drives International Bank Credit?

A major question facing policymakers is how to deal with slumps in bank credit. The policy prescriptions are very different depending on whether the decline is a result of global forces, domestic demand, or supply problems in a particular banking system. We present findings from new research that exactly decompose the growth in banks’ aggregate foreign credit into these three factors. Using global banking data for the period 2000-16, we uncover some striking patterns in bilateral credit relationships between consolidated banking systems and borrowers in more than 200 countries. The most important we term the “Anna Karenina Principle” of global banking: all healthy credit relationships behave alike; each unhealthy credit relationship is unhealthy in its own way.

Continue reading "What Drives International Bank Credit?" »

April 19, 2017

Is Chinese Growth Overstated?



LSE_Is Chinese Growth Overstated?


For analysts of the Chinese economy, questions about the accuracy of the country’s official GDP data are a frequent source of angst, leading many to seek guidance from alternative indicators. These nonofficial gauges often suggest Beijing’s growth figures are exaggerated, but that conclusion is not supported by our analysis, which draws upon satellite measurements of the intensity of China’s nighttime light emissions—a good proxy for GDP growth that is presumably not subject to whatever measurement errors may affect the country’s official economic statistics.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in International Economics | Permalink | Comments (10)

April 18, 2017

Why Renegotiating NAFTA Could Disrupt Supply Chains



LSE_Why Renegotiating NAFTA Could Disrupt Supply Chains

Supply chains have become increasingly interlinked across the U.S.-Mexico border. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), allowing tariff-free commerce between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, has facilitated this integration. Some critics of NAFTA are concerned about the bilateral trade deficit and have proposed stricter rules of origin (ROO), which would make it more cumbersome for firms to access the zero tariff rates they are entitled to with NAFTA. We argue that measures that make it costlier for U.S. firms to import will also hurt U.S. exports because much of U.S.-Mexican trade is part of global supply chains.

Continue reading "Why Renegotiating NAFTA Could Disrupt Supply Chains" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Exports, International Economics | Permalink | Comments (0)
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