The Decline of U.S. Export Competitiveness for Manufactures and Its Consequences for the World Economic Order

A rapid decline in U.S. export competitiveness for manufactures is having game-changing consequences for the international trade and financial systems. U.S. leadership capabil­ity has been reduced for pursuing a more open, nondiscriminatory trading system while trade relationships are shifting from the rules-based multilateral World Trade Organization to a spreading network of preferential bilateral and regional trade agreements.

  • The geographic composition of trade in manufactures changed radically between 2000 and 2013. The U.S. share of global exports declined from 19% to 12% while the Chinese share soared from 7% to 23%
  • The U.S. deficit in manufactures almost doubled from 2009 to $562 billion in 2014, while the Chinese surplus rose to $1 trillion
  • Transition from the dollarized financial system to some form of multi–key currency relationship is projected as the share of world trade financed in dollars drops below 50%