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China takes all? An empirical study on the impacts of quota elimination on world clothing trade from 2000 to 2009

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the impacts of quota elimination on the world clothing trade. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was undertaken based on trade statistics of 51 clothing exporters from 2000 to 2009 provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Findings ‐ First, exporters' performances in response to quota elimination overall were suggested unequal among countries located in different geographic regions of the world. Second, clothing exporters located in different geographic regions were suggested having unequal results of compound annual growth rate from 2005 to 2009 and market share changes from 2000 to 2009. Third, it was suggested that European countries were achieving faster clothing export growth from 2005 to 2009 and more market share gains from 2000 to 2009 than the rest of the world; and that China was also achieving more market share gains from 2000 to 2009 than other clothing exporters. Research limitations/implications ‐ Although China once again was suggested as one of the largest beneficiaries of quota elimination, the paper's findings remind us that neither China's gains nor some other countries' losses should be exaggerated. The findings also call attention to the influence of geographic location as a key factor shaping the pattern of the world clothing trade in the post-quota era. Also, the findings suggest special care be given to African clothing exporters in the future. Originality/value ‐ The paper evaluates the real impacts of quota elimination on the world clothing trade by taking a global perspective based on updated data.

Keywords: China; Clothing trade; Garment industry; Globalization; International trade; Quota elimination; Trade barriers

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 6, 2012

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