The Journal of Politics


The Foreign Policy Consequences of Trade: China’s Commercial Relations with Africa and Latin America, 1992–2006

Gustavo A. Flores-Macíasa1 and Sarah E. Krepsa2

a1 Cornell University

a2 Cornell University


What are the foreign policy consequences of China’s growing trade relations? In particular, are states that trade more heavily with China more likely to side with it on key foreign policy issues? Does a shift toward China come at the expense of American influence? We evaluate these questions using data on bilateral trade for China and developing countries in Africa and Latin America between 1992 and 2006. Using ordinary and two-stage least squares to control for endogeneity, we present the first systematic evidence that trade with China generates foreign policy consequences. The more states trade with China, the more likely they are to converge with it on issues of foreign policy. This has implications for the United States, whose foreign policy preferences have diverged from those of China during the period of study and who may find it harder to attract allies in international forums.


  Gustavo A. Flores-Macías is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853.

Sarah E. Kreps is an Assistant Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca NY, 14853.