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China

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Justin98300
Words 11957
Pages 48
206-009-1

MICHAEL J. ENRIGHT

CHINA’S EXPORTS:
AN UNSTOPPABLE COMPETITOR?
According to press reports, in early 2005, the US and Europe were being inundated with
Chinese garment exports following the removal of quotas in January. In some categories, imports from China were several hundred per cent higher than in the previous year. In the US, politicians and trade unions blamed China for the loss of 380,000 jobs in the textile and garment industries since January 2001, a third of its employees. In Europe, garment and textile centres that had existed for hundreds of years found themselves under threat. In the developing world, country after country feared that China’s emergence would cripple its own garment and textile industries.
Garments and textiles reflected a much wider trend. In one labour-intensive industry after another, the “China price” seemed impossible to match. China had become a dominant producer in garments, textiles, footwear, travel goods, leather goods, plastic products, bicycles, simple housewares, pens and pencils, cutlery, radios, phones, computers, DVD players, shipping containers, and many other products. In the US, China was viewed as a major reason for the loss of 2.7 million manufacturing jobs from 2001 to 2004.1 More than
300,000 were reported to have lost jobs in Mexico’s factories due to competition from China.
China had supplanted Japan as the world’s third largest exporter in 2004 with US$593 billion
(an 82% increase over two years). The US had run a record trade deficit with China of
US$162 billion in 2004.2 And what was more, China appeared to be entering more advanced products, such as auto parts, industrial electronics and communications equipment. Many viewed with concern the arrival of the first Honda automobiles in Europe, exported from its plant in Guangzhou.
In developing countries, many saw China’s...

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