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Do National Standards Impact Foreign Trade? Evidence from China’s Foreign Trade and Sino-US Bilateral Trade

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This paper investigates the impact of standards on China’s trade volume with the rest of the world and its bilateral trade flows with the US, from panel data covering 33 ICS classified technology sectors between 1990–2010. Results show that China’s country specific voluntary standards promote China’s foreign trade and the impact on exports is larger than on imports. China’s internationally harmonized voluntary standards have the strongest positive impact, especially on imports. China’s country specific mandatory standards increase imports while decreasing exports. China’s internationally harmonized mandatory standards are favorable for China’s foreign trade development. China’s country specific voluntary standards and internationally harmonized standards contribute to promoting China’s trade surplus with the US.


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