Kina måste hanteras — men traditionellt handelskrig är helt fel metod

USA kan inte vinna handelskriget mot Kina genom att bekämpa Kina, utan genom att stärka sin egen ställning som världens kraftfullaste och modernaste nation när det gäller både vetenskap, teknologi, infrastruktur och ekonomi. 

Tom Donilon, säkerhetspolitisk rådgivare (National Security Adviser) 2010-2013 skriver i Foreign Affairs om Donald Trumps handelskrig mot Kina.

Han menar att det inte kommer att påverka Kina särskilt mycket och att de skadliga effekterna på USA:s ekonomi kommer att bli allt större.

Strategin bör istället vara att stärka USA genom mer pengar till forskning och utveckling, utbildning, infrastruktur och omställning till ett samhälle där robotar gör allt mer av arbetet. Att stärka relationen till traditionella allierade och inte minst ansluta USA till TPP-samarbetet är andra rekommendationer. Det senare är viktigt. USA har fortfarande chansen att bli navet i ett samarbete som omfattar nästan alla av världens demokratisk och utvecklade länder, större delen av världsekonomin och världshandeln. Genom det skulle Kinas (och inte som nu USA) hamna vid sidlinjen.

“The rivalry between the United States and China is here to stay. But the Trump administration is bringing the wrong tools to the contest, applying blunt trade-war tactics reminiscent of the nineteenth century instead of crafting a strategy to keep the United States the world’s economic and technological leader in the twenty-first. Defensive protectionism will not meet the China challenge; only domestic revival can do that. Restoring the United States’ global standing and revitalizing its economy will require an ambitious strategy that doesn’t rely solely on changing Chinese behavior so much as on preparing the United States to compete.

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The Trump administration is right that China’s high-tech mercantilism threatens U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. China aims to replace the United States as the global leader in several high-tech sectors. The Trump administration is also right that the United States should push back. But so far the United States has not responded with nearly enough ambition.

Tariffs were always a poor choice to change Beijing’s behavior. At best, the administration’s punitive measures will shape China’s policies at the margin, earning U.S. companies a little more access to the Chinese market and slightly reducing the trade deficit. In the meantime, however, the tariffs are hurting U.S. businesses, consumers, and farmers. They are alienating U.S. allies. And, analysts warn, they are increasing the risk of a global recession.

There’s a better solution. History offers a blueprint: the United States’ strongest response to external economic and technological challengers has always been to invest in itself. When, in 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, the United States responded by passing the National Defense Education Act, which transformed all levels of science and math education, dramatically boosted federal funding for basic research and development, and created NASA and DARPA, which supported the development of many of the technologies that power modern society. Today, China’s technological advancements—a more serious threat to U.S. primacy than the Soviet Union ever posed—should produce a similar response.

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The United States needs to set its house in order, but even then, it cannot go it alone in a global economic, technological, and military competition with China. Trump’s trade wars have alienated the United States’ closest partners. A recent poll in Germany found that the German public now views the United States as a less trustworthy trading partner than China. Regaining the United States’ stature in the world is essential, as only a collective front can pressure Beijing to stop stealing intellectual property and start granting foreign companies greater access to the Chinese market.

A good place for the next president to start would be by reviving U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A stronger TPP with U.S. involvement would be the ultimate tool for checking China’s unfair trade practices. It would signal to Beijing that it can only shape Asia’s economic future by respecting intellectual property, dismantling bloated state-owned enterprises, and playing fairly with other countries. Trump’s decision to scrap the TPP, in 2017, conveyed exactly the opposite message, assuring China’s leaders that they could double down on the old ways of doing business without consequences.

The administration’s China policy reflects Trump’s belief that China has long taken advantage of the United States, especially on trade. Whatever the merits of that position, a response focused on changing China’s behavior is woefully inadequate. U.S. primacy was born not by defensive protectionism but by building the greatest economic engine in human history. Keeping ahead of China is much more about us than about them.”

 


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