Sunghyun Henry Kim: In international trade literature, slow trade in the post 2008–09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) period has been regarded as evidence that international production networks (or global value chains [GVCs]) have been exhausted. This paper analyzes whether trade growth has actually slowed down in East Asia by examining changes in trade values in East Asia and the world using disaggregate product-level trade data. Trade data are classified into five categories: primary goods, intermediate processed goods, intermediate parts and components, final capital goods, and final consumption goods.

The authors focus on trade in intermediate parts and components (mostly in the machinery industry) to examine potential slowdown in international production networks in East Asia. Empirical evidence suggests that a slowdown in trade is mostly due to sluggish trade in primary goods and...

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