Complementation or substitution: an estimation and analysis of Sino–US trade relationship

XIE Jianguo1 YANG Haiyan1

(1.Nanjing University Business School 210093)

【Abstract】By processing 2002–2012 export data of China and the United States from Chelem database, this paper estimates the added value of products and indexes of competition and complementarity of the two countries. The results reveal that in spite of faster total export growth, China's export shows a growth propensity towards middle and low value added products, and the export growth of the US, though relatively slower, is obviously biased towards high value added products. The export relationship between China and the US in the global market is still more complementary than competitive. The article further analyzes the export performances of China and the US in the EU market. The analysis demonstrates a contrast of competitiveness of the two countries and finds that the growth of Chinese export to the EU is rocketing but deviating from the import demand structure of the EU, which may render the export growth of China to the EU vulnerable in the future.

【Keywords】 added value of products; Sino–US trade relationship; trade structure;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Fund (71473118)

Download this article

(Translated by LIU Na)


    [1]. 1 The fourty countries (regions) included in the sample analysis: twenty seven countries of the EU, China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China Taiwan, India, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Sweden, Indonesia, Norway, Turkey, Nigeria, Vietnam, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Argentina, Chile, Algeria, Ukraine, Israel, Libya, Colombia, the Philippines, Peru, New Zealand, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ecuador, and Morocco. [^Back]

    [2]. 2 The data is obtained from the global macroeconomic index database by Bureau van Dijk-EIU Country Data. [^Back]

    [3]. 3 Put the added value of products of 2012 in order from the low to the high, the sixty seven product whose added value is lower than 5000 are the low value-added products, the sixty one products whose added value is between 5000 and 10000 are classfied into the middle value-added products, and the nineteen products whose added value is more than 10000 belong to the high value-added products. [^Back]


    Fan ,G. Guan, Z. & Yao, Z.Economics Researech Journal (经济研究), (8) (2006)

    Lall S., Weiss J., Zhang J. (2006) “The‘Sophistication’of Exports:a New Trade Measure,” World Development 34(2): 222-237.

This Article


CN: 11-1692/F

Vol , No. 11, Pages 62-72

November 2015


Article Outline


  • Introduction
  • 1 The measuring method of competition relationship of China and US exporting
  • 2 The calculation and analysis of the competitiveness of China's and the United States' export products
  • 3 Conclusion
  • Footnote