The Distortion of the Trade Patterns in the U.S. Primary Products

Yu HONG, Wan-jie DONG, Xiao-wei MU


Using annual trade data from 1978 to 2016, this study compares the export and the import patterns of the trade the United States in the primary products. We employ the weighted policy interference indicator, or the H index, to capture the degree of the U.S. trade protection in these products. The results show that after weighting, the U.S. has comparative advantages and trade deficits in the exports, generating a slight export facilitating policy interference. The weighted import patterns reveal that the U.S. trade policies have been strongly biased to the import encouragement of the primary products. We argue that 1) the U.S. agricultural subsidies have made considerable contribution to the comparative advantages in the exports, and 2) the U.S. import promotion policies may targets at saving the production cost and domestic economic resources.


The United States, Primary product, Imports, Trade pattern, Trade protection


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