The purpose of this study is to identify US textile and apparel (TAP) products and categories that demonstrate export comparative advantage and their respective country destinations.
Revealed comparative advantage (RCA) and normalized revealed comparative advantage (NRCA) in the long term (1996-2016) and short term (2010-2016) using two-digit Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System codes (HS codes) provide an insight into export advantage of TAP products. Non-parametric rank correlation (i.e. Spearman rank correlation) tests consistency between RCA and NRCA. Subsequently, NRCA using four-digit HS codes identify textile sub-categories with export comparative advantage. Bilateral trade data identify export destinations for sub-categories that indicate US export comparative advantage in the short term.
Aggregated product-level comparison of RCA and NRCA ranking indicates a consistent positive correlation between the two indices. The disaggregated findings reveal cotton fiber HS5201, artificial filament tow HS5502, non-wovens HS5603, cotton yarn HS5205, carpet and other floor coverings HS5703 and worn clothing HS6309 as sources of US TAP export advantage.
This research provides a comprehensive, current analysis of the US competitive position within the TAP global environment. Incorporation of NRCA into the study’s design demonstrates the flexibility of this measure in a new industry context.
Saki, Z., Moore, M., Kandilov, I., Rothenberg, L. and Godfrey, A.B. (2019), "Revealed comparative advantage for US textiles and apparel", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 462-478. https://doi.org/10.1108/CR-03-2018-0025
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