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167801-1 Report Abstract

The Impacts of U.S.-Latin American Trade on the Southwest’s Economy and Transportation System: An Assessment of Impact Methodologies

Leigh B. Boske and John C. Cuttino, University of Texas at Austin, June 2001, 99 pp. (167801-1)

Trade between the United States and Latin America brings various economic impacts to the Southwest’s economy and transportation network. Measuring these impacts provides strategic information capable of identifying trade opportunities, infrastructure investment demands, and system bottlenecks in addition to quantifying the contribution of U.S.-Latin American trade in terms of value added, employment, and taxes. The purpose of this report is to analyze the impacts of U.S.-Latin American trade on the Southwest region’s economy and transportation network. This report reviews current methods used to analyze the economic and transportation impacts of trade. Because there are few methods capable of adequately analyzing regional impacts of corridor-specific trade, the report presents a review of economic impact methodologies that are most relevant to analysis of trade corridors. Since ports are the major gateways for U.S.-Latin American trade, special attention is paid to methodologies addressing port economic impacts, specifically those applied to the U.S. Southwest.

For the most part, these methodologies, especially those applied to port impact studies (PIS), only illustrate a small part of overall trade impacts. After reviewing these relevant economic impact methods, it becomes clear that current methodologies are insufficient in capturing the wider impacts of U.S.-Latin American trade on the region’s economy and transport network. Trade necessarily takes place along well-established corridors, which comprise both transportation infrastructure and value-added logistics services where investments in both value-added logistics services and transportation infrastructure generate economic impacts. This report attempts to advance a method more capable of measuring economic and transportation impacts of trade corridors through case study guided by the emerging concepts of logistics and transport corridors. While the concept of trade corridors has been in existence for some time and is commonly used by government planners, international development agencies, and logistics operators, it has been used primarily to evaluate proposed transportation infrastructure investments and to delineate the conditions favorable for promoting sustainable development. The impact of trade corridors on regional development is an unknown.

Keywords: Trade Routes, Seaports, International Borders, Transportation Corridors, International Trade, Impact Studies, Latin America, Southwest

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 4,361 KBytes)