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Distinctive Patterns and Prospects in China-Latin America Trade, 1999-2005


Alexander B. Hammer, James A. Kilpatrick


This paper examines significant China-Latin America trade patterns that have emerged between 1999 and 2005, and assesses implications of these developments on these trading partners’ future economic relationship. We show that China’s iron, copper, and soybean imports from Latin America have become increasingly concentrated; that China and Latin America are rapidly becoming interconnected on telecommunications and computer manufacturing supply chains, with China supplying parts for assembly in Latin America; and that Chinese-made electronic and textile consumer goods have rapidly penetrated Latin American markets. The implications of our findings suggest that while there are many benefits of deeper economic integration to both sides, the vulnerabilities are likely to be predominantly borne by China’s Latin American trading partners.