Related BLS programs | Related articles
June 1991, Vol. 114, No. 6
James Thomas, Jill Walker, and Rebecca Westra
T he United States maintained a significant trade surplus-more exports than imports-in the chemical industry during the 1980's. Indeed, from 1985 onward, the chemical trade surplus more than doubled.1 Some of the reasons for this prolonged surplus while overall U.S. trade has accumulated a large deficit are examined in this article.
The analysis begins with a brief background covering the factors that have influenced the chemical trade balance. Among these are large fluctuations in exchange rates and export and import prices that occurred in the 1980's. In particular, during the latter part of the decade, depreciation in the value of the dollar largely contributed to the rise in the chemical trade surplus. In addition, other factors unique to the chemical industry are analyzed-its highly technical nature, increased merger activity in the industry, and the costs of energy, regulation, and research and development. Finally, the focus will shift to specific industries associated with chemicals that had the most impact on the surplus.
This excerpt is from an article published in the June 1991 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full text in PDF (653K)
1 Trade figures discussed in this article are based on U.S. trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1980-90.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers