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Uncovering the Barriers of the China-Latin America & Caribbean Trade

Moreira, Mauricio and Soares, Andre and Li, Kun (2016): Uncovering the Barriers of the China-Latin America & Caribbean Trade. Published in:

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This study makes a concerted effort to draw attention to a trade agenda that remained largely ignored during the China-LAC trade boom. Mesmerized by epic export gains, both sides of the relationship largely looked the other way when it came to tariffs and non-tariff barriers and, as a result, have essentially failed to document, measure their impact and negotiate their removal. To close this gap, this study offers a detailed analysis of these barriers, including rigorous estimates of their impact on bilateral trade flows. The results suggest that both sides have much to gain from a more activist trade policy. For instance, the median impact of a convergence of China’s import tariffs to OECD levels would be 53 percent for LAC agricultural exports, and 46.5 percent for its manufacturing exports. Likewise, a similar convergence in LAC import tariffs to OECD levels would have 16 percent median impact on China’s manufacturing exports to the region.

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