Highlighting the Effect of Chinese Tariffs on Houston

China shipping, lorry in the harbour with a lot of containers. Rudenkoi/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Workers at the Port of Houston have been laid off or let go in droves in the wake of the miasma of tariffs imposed on China, a chief exporter of goods to the port. The Port of Houston is the seventh largest port in the United States.

The loading dock of an abandoned industrial brick warehouse in the eastern end of downtown Houston, Texas. Art Wager/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Researchers from UH’s Hobby School revealed in a study that Houston-area imports from, and exports to, China have dipped dramatically since the tariffs were imposed on Chinese goods.

"As one of the largest ports in the United States and over $60B worth of imports and exports as of 2018, the Houston area provides a unique case study to assess the impacts of the hike in tariffs on prices, imports, exports, as well as the burden on Houston businesses and overall standard of living," said Yewande Olapade, Ph.D, one of the chief researchers of the study.

"Our findings show an increase in imports from China and a larger decline in exports from the Houston area to China, making Houston’s trade deficit with China larger compared to the net export value of 2016," she expounded.

The Hobby study can serve Houston by highlighting some of the areas city officials should concentrate on in order to improve the local economy.

"With the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the Houston area, policymakers need to rethink how they plan to work with China as a partner and as a supplier of medical devices and electronic goods," explained Olapade.

"Businesses and exporters around the Houston area obviously rely on a supply of cheaper imports from China. Despite the higher tariffs on China, Houston imports from China remain high while exports are lower, suggesting that the higher tariffs raise the cost of doing business in the area and make output prices less competitive in the international market," she continued.

Category: Local Economy

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