Economic Policy Review

The Impact of the Asia Crisis on U.S. Industry:
An Almost-Free Lunch?

September 2000Volume 6, Number 3
JEL classification: F1, L6

Author: James Harrigan

Despite predictions to the contrary, the Asia crisis had only modest overall effects on the United States. The expected surge in import volumes did not materialize and the drop in demand for U.S. exports was not enough to slow the nation’s robust economy. Nevertheless, these overall effects could have masked other, larger effects in particularly vulnerable U.S. industries. To examine this possibility, the author conducts a sector-level analysis of the turmoil’s impact. He concludes that, with the exception of the steel industry, imports from Asia do not compete directly with U.S. products. Accordingly, an appreciation in the dollar with respect to Asian currencies leads to consumption gains with little or no domestic pain.

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