In het artikel ‘Donald Trump verklaart de handelsoorlog aan China’ leggen we uit waarom de hoofdeconomist van de Financial Times, Martin Wolf, de Amerikaanse eisen aan China onaanvaardbaar en contraproductief vindt. We nemen een link op naar het originele artikel, maar velen zullen die niet kunnen openen. Daarom hieronder enkele belangrijke Engelse citaten, zodat alle lezers beter zelf kunnen oordelen.
‘No sovereign power could accept the humiliating demands being made by the US
The Financial Times, 9 mei 2018, p. 9; https://www.ft.com/content/dd2af6b0-4fc1-11e8-9471-a083af05aea7
‘The Trump administration has presented China with an ultimatum on trade. That is what the US’s “draft framework” for the trade talks with Chinese officials in Beijing last week actually is.
The US side demands the following “concrete and verifiable actions”:
- …reduce the US-China trade imbalance by $100bn in the 12 months beginning June 1 2018, and by another $100bn in the 12 months beginning June 1 2019.
- …eliminate all “market-distorting subsidies” conducive to excess capacity. … strengthen intellectual property and eliminate technology-related requirements for joint ventures.
- . . . cease the targeting of [US] technology and intellectual property through cyber operations, economic espionage, counterfeiting and piracy. … abide by US export control laws.
- … withdraw requests for World Trade Organization consultations relating to tariff actions on intellectual property. “In addition, China will not take any retaliatory action . . . and … cease all retaliatory actions currently being pursued.”
- The agreement is to be monitored quarterly. Should the US conclude that China is not in compliance, it may impose tariffs or import restrictions. China “will not oppose, challenge or take any form of action against” any such US impositions. China will also withdraw its WTO complaint that it is not being treated as a market economy.
What is to be made of these demands? The call for a reduction of the bilateral deficits by $200bn (up from $100bn) is ridiculous. It would require the Chinese state to take control over the economy — precisely what, in other respects, the US demands it not do.(…) A serious discussion should indeed be had on the terms of foreign investment in China and Chinese investment in the US. So, too, must there be a discussion of intellectual property protection and cyber-espionage. But China could never accept the idea that the US may prevent it from upgrading its technology.(…)
Finally, the idea that the US will be judge, jury and executioner, while China will be deprived of the rights to retaliate or seek recourse to the WTO is crazy. No great sovereign power could accept such a humiliation. For China, it would be a modern version of the “unequal treaties” of the 19th century.
Both economically and politically, the US is going about this in the wrong way, not only because it is seeking to humiliate China, but because it is simultaneously waging commercial war on its potential allies. The right path for everybody would be to make the discussion multilateral, not narrowly bilateral.
China should recognise that, though still a developing country in some respects, it is also a superpower. It should embrace the principles of rules-governed openness and liberal trade. A renewal of the lapsed multilateral trade negotiation, built around opening up the Chinese economy, could, as the Chinese say, be a “win-win” for everybody. China should take the lead. The Europeans and Japanese should support the idea.’