An Empirical Study of Trade Competitiveness in the U.S. Technical Textile Industry

Ting Chi


In the last decade, technical textiles have played an increasingly important role in the US textile economy in terms of both size and impact. In addition to a well-established position in domestic market, the industry has realized that the long-term growth of US technical textile sector relies on its continuous expansion in the international markets. However, based on an extensive literature review, the published work on the US technical textile performance and competitiveness in international trade is very little.

This paper identified the impacts of major economic and political factors on the US technical textile export to its 15 major trading partners between 1996 and 2006 and analyzed the US trade performance with these nations over the time period. Ordinary-least-square (OLS) regression under a gravity model framework was employed to construct the analysis. The shifting patterns of US trade performances with these major trading partners were further revealed using the calculated relative difference index (RDI). Overall, the determinants identified from this analysis provide a better understanding of the changing patterns of US technical textile export and give researchers insights for further exploration. The empirical evidence derived from this study enable government officers and industrial practitioners to make effective decisions on trade policies, investments, and export marketing.

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