The Latest Protectionist Trade Trends and their Impact on the European Union

11 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2019

Date Written: May 9, 2019

Abstract

In an attempt to rebalance trade with China, the United States administration decided in early 2018 to introduce a series of protectionist measures affecting certain imports in particular. This gave rise to an escalation of US-China trade tensions. The new tariffs have affected a significant percentage of Chinese exports to the United States, but their impact on EU trade has only been marginal to date. The indirect effects on European economies through the global value chains have also been limited. However, possible tariff barriers on the automotive sector could raise the affected trade flows substantially.

Simulations made with econometric models confirm that the tariff measures adopted to date would have relatively moderate direct effects on global economic activity and on EU countries. That said, the simulations also warn that a decrease in business confidence and an unfavourable reaction by international financial markets could amplify such adverse effects. Additionally, possible future auto sector tariffs could have a significant impact on European economies in an industry already facing important challenges associated with the structural and technological transformation process currently under way.

Keywords: protectionism, global trade, tariffs, European Union, China, automotive industry

JEL Classification: F01, F40, E50, E60

Suggested Citation

Viani, Francesca, The Latest Protectionist Trade Trends and their Impact on the European Union (May 9, 2019). Banco de Espana Article 6/19 (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3401705

Francesca Viani (Contact Author)

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.bde.es

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