PurposeThe purpose of this study is to identify US textile and apparel (TAP) products and categories that demonstrate export comparative advantage and their respective country destinations.Design/methodology/approachRevealed comparative advantage (RCA) and normalized revealed comparative advantage (NRCA) in the long term (1996-2016) and short term (2010-2016) using two-digit Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System codes (HS codes) provide an insight into export advantage of TAP products. Non-parametric rank correlation (i.e. Spearman rank correlation) tests consistency between RCA and NRCA. Subsequently, NRCA using four-digit HS codes identify textile sub-categories with export comparative advantage. Bilateral trade data identify export destinations for sub-categories that indicate US export comparative advantage in the short term.FindingsAggregated product-level comparison of RCA and NRCA ranking indicates a consistent positive correlation between the two indices. The disaggregated findings reveal cotton fiber HS5201, artificial filament tow HS5502, non-wovens HS5603, cotton yarn HS5205, carpet and other floor coverings HS5703 and worn clothing HS6309 as sources of US TAP export advantage.Originality/valueThis research provides a comprehensive, current analysis of the US competitive position within the TAP global environment. Incorporation of NRCA into the study’s design demonstrates the flexibility of this measure in a new industry context.
Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal incorporating Journal of Global Competitiveness – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 15, 2019