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China’s share of manufacturing exports rose from just over 1% of the world’s total in 1990, to almost one-fifth today. Research by Gordon Hanson and his co-authors documented how the ‘China Shock’ led to factory closures and job losses in places that had been producing apparel, shoes, furniture, simple electronics, and other goods that China now exported. Tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018 and 2019 did not reverse these effects and lead to job recovery. But, despite this, Hanson shows there was a political benefit to these trade restrictions.

Gordon is the Peter Wertheim Professor of Urban Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he co-directs the Reimagining the Economy Project.


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