Det finns människor bakom siffrorna. Småföretag drabbas hårt av USA:s handelskrig med Kina.
Debatten om USA:s handelskrig med Kina förs ofta i övergripande termer; procentsatser, värdet av importen som drabbas, antalet jobb som försvinner i USA:s ekonomin som helhet.
Men de som drabbas är människor av kött och blod, både företagare och anställda. En stor del av både export och import görs av mindre företag och en betydande del av importen är komponenter som ingår i produkter som exporteras från USA till andra länder.
Dessutom drabbas förstås kinesiska företag, men från Kina finns det inte samma goda tillgång på statistik som från USA.
Raymond J. Keating som är chefekonom på The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council skriver i Washington Times.
”Make no mistake, this (USA: tullar på varor från Kina) very much is a small business issue. For example, exporting to China largely is about small and mid-size enterprise. Among U.S. employer firms exporting to China (based on U.S. Census Bureau data), 53.8 percent have fewer than 20 employees, 68.7 percent fewer than 50 employees, 78.4 percent less than 100 workers and 92.1 percent fewer than 500 employees.
The story is similar when it comes to U.S. firms dealing with imports from China, with 43.3 percent having fewer than 20 employees, 55.7 percent fewer than 50 employees, 65.3 percent less than 100 workers and 83.0 percent fewer than 500 employees.
For good measure, it must be kept in mind that more than 55 percent of overall U.S. imports ranks as inputs for U.S. businesses. In addition, China’s retaliatory measures matter, as they raise costs and reduce opportunities for U.S. small businesses and workers involved in exporting.
Trade with China, while not without real problems, must be put in proper perspective. It has been an overall net plus for the U.S. economy. Consider that U.S. goods exports to China from 2001 — the year that China was admitted to the World Trade Organization — to 2017 grew by 579 percent. And over the same period, U.S. imports from China — goods for consumers, and intermediate and capital goods for businesses, including for small businesses — grew by 394 percent. That’s strong growth — far outdistancing the rise in overall U.S. trade and economic growth.
In testimony earlier this year before the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, I pointed out: “Rather than raising costs to trade with China, the best path forward would be to enter into serious discussions that lay the groundwork for a China-U.S. free trade agreement. Through that process, the U.S. would be able to constructively advance the cause for open markets and property rights in China. And a free trade accord between the world’s two largest economies would considerably expand opportunities for entrepreneurs, small businesses and workers in both nations.”
Still, there is some potential good news on the trade front as the administration has announced it is seeking trade agreements with Japan, the European Union and Great Britain. This would open opportunities for our small businesses in appealing markets and solidify relationships with these important U.S. allies. The United States re-engaging as a global leader of free trade would boost U.S. economic growth for the long term and boost entrepreneurship, which has been lagging. Advancing free trade is the approach the United States needs to pursue with China as well.”