Many multinational firms attempt to cope with trade policy uncertainties by developing the option of manufacturing their goods in multiple production facilities in different countries. In this chapter, we explore how such “production switching” options affect the vulnerability of a country’s exports to foreign protectionism. We present a theoretical model of such behavior and show that production switching increases the elasticity of a country’s export with respect to tariffs. The magnitude of the elasticity depends on a country’s position in the value chain. We use the model’s predictions to provide new insights into the vulnerability of China’s exports during the current Sino–US trade war.
Assche, A.V. and Gangnes, B. (2019), "Production Switching and Vulnerability to Protectionism", Tulder, R.V., Verbeke, A. and Jankowska, B. (Ed.) International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 14), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 69-87. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1745-886220190000014006Download as .RIS
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