Frihandel i media vecka 25


Vi börjar veckans pressklipp med Cecilia Malmström i en Reuters-intervju från Nya Zeeland där hon är för att starta förhandlingar om ett frihandelsavtal:

”Visiting New Zealand to begin talks on a free-trade agreement, Malmstrom sought its support to stand up for an open, rule-based trade system that she said was under threat from friction between the United States and other major economies.

Malmstrom said she was “very worried” about the situation, as it could escalate into a “full trade war” that would disrupt global supply chains and damage the world economy.

She also took a swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies, voicing concern that some countries were “acting outside” rules agreed upon jointly at the WTO.

“New Zealand is a friend, an ally. Together we stand up for common values … of sustainable trade, open trade, transparent trade, and trade that is done in compliance with international rules in the multilateral system,” she told a news conference after meeting New Zealand trade minister David Parker.

Despite the frictions with the United States, the European Union did share its criticism that China was dumping steel and aluminum goods by subsidizing state-owned companies, Malmstrom said, adding that Beijing’s move was causing “great instability” in global markets.

“We don’t like that. Nobody likes that. We need to address this issue. But just throwing tariffs to the whole world is not the right way to address it.”

New Zealand is a strong advocate of free trade, and pushed hard with Japan for renegotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal after Trump’s decision to pull the United States out.”


I samma ämne. Jibran Khan på National Review skriver om varför USA:s tullar mot Kina missar målet och drabbar både de egna medborgarna och USA:S allierade hårdast:

”The White House has been using a 1962 tariff-cutting statute (the Trade Expansion Act) and spurious “national security” justifications, neither of which apply, to enact these tariffs. But even if they did, tariffs as a strategy to counteract Chinese cheating and fraud will not work. This cheating, in the form of billions of dollars in stolen intellectual property, is significant — but it requires a far more targeted approach.

Tariffs on Chinese imports target products irrespective of intellectual-property theft. They make no distinction between good and bad actors in China, and in the process may turn away the former. National economies aren’t giant blocs, but the combined actions of myriad individuals pursuing their own goals. We should harness the market power of businessmen in China who do not engage in cheating, which would incentivize them to continue on that path and encourage greater innovation. This, combined with a WTO action led by the United States with its European and Asian allies to target China’s intellectual-property theft specifically, would have a real chance of addressing the issue.

If the U.S. is to do this, it cannot afford to alienate its allies and China’s rivals, but as we have seen with the EU, this has already been coming about. Most recently, India, which is poised to be China’s regional economic competitor, has imposed taxes on American agricultural produce and vehicles in response to the steel tariffs. The amount ($240 million) is small, compared with the U.S.–China tit-for-tat, but it deserves attention. (The Indian government claims that this is meant to match the cost of U.S. tariffs.) If fraud in China is to be tackled, the cooperation of India is essential. I am no fan of Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist regime, with its repression of India’s Christians and Muslims, but India is more than its government. In it is a thriving economy engaged in both low-cost and specialist labor, and an essential trading partner of the United States. Just as in China, there are countless economic actors in the country who would have their own incentives for being part of the effort. Smaller countries in South Asia tend to have competing lobbies of those who prefer trade with China and those who prefer trade with India.

Trade restrictions, though imposed by governments, punish voluntary exchange between individuals. They are too often viewed as barriers set between unitary states, but this view would have been simplistic even in the mercantilist era. “America” and “China” are not having a face-off in the abstract. Certain groups and individuals in China are stealing intellectual property from Americans.

In an age where an American can email a factory in Lahore for a sports uniform or someone in China can have American cosmetics drop-shipped over, the notion of trade as something that happens between people should be more obvious than ever. And tariffs prevent this, without regard for whether the target was engaged in cheating or not. They mean I must pay more to get something from someone who is getting no more money for it than before. The tax inhibits my own ability to buy, by making everything more expensive. And the higher price does nothing to encourage selling, because the tax authority pockets the difference. Now imagine this process repeating itself millions of times, across wide swathes of both the American and Chinese economies, the two largest in the world. Many more people will be hurt, besides the actual cheaters.”



Ännu mer i samma ämne. Christofer Fjellner skriver i Borås Tidning att Kina är ett större hot än USA när det gäller den fria handeln:

”När Kina blev medlem i WTO 2001 lovade landet att genomföra nödvändiga ekonomiska reformer. Men snart 20 år senare går reformerna i fel riktning och Kina för allt oftare en politik som snedvrider världshandeln. Det handlar om alltifrån subventioner i stålproduktionen, krav på att produkter ska innehålla kinesiska komponenter till brister i skyddet av den intellektuella äganderätten och hinder för investeringar i landet. Det är uppenbart att förhoppningar om att Kina ska förändras inte har infriats och att regelverket i WTO inte har varit tillräckligt starkt för att hantera landet.

Tillsammans med USA och Japan har EU ett samarbete för att hantera Kina. Det bör vidareutvecklas och gemensamt bör man dra Kina inför domstol i WTO för stävja regelbrotten och skapa en jämn spelplan för handeln. Det är en process som skulle underlättas betydligt om om tvisterna löstes snabbare än i dag. Men det är klart att USA:s egna regelbrott försvårar detta samarbete.

Den amerikanska administrationen agerar på ett nyckfullt och skadligt sätt genom att införa sina tullar. Men EU måste ändå försöka åstadkomma en förändring av WTO tillsammans med USA. För i valet mellan ett WTO som faller samman och ett seriöst försök att reformera organisationen måste EU välja det senare. Det handlar om att stå upp för den regelstyrda handeln. Det är nämligen en garant för jobb, tillväxt och ekonomiskt välstånd i hela världen. Särskilt för små handelsberoende länder som Sverige.”





Kategorier: Frihandel i media