Recently, the us suddenly announced a list of tariffs to be imported from China with a value of 200 billion US dollars, so as to accelerate the upgrading of the trade war. This is a provocative act that will clearly harm bilateral trade between China and the United States and will harm the world economy. We can not help asking: what is the reason for the US side to take such a brutal move?
Several senior American officials have been repeating a set of rhetoric that the United States has been "unfair" in China's trade with China: China has "stolen" American technology by means of "forced technology transfer", thus obtaining "unfair advantage". The statement came from the "China 301 survey report" issued earlier this year, which is a reason for the US side to set up a tariff list for China's aerospace, information technology, robotics and machinery products, and the 200 billion dollar list behind it is China's counterattack measures.
Is the reason for the US side and the action it is born to be viable? For the "301 survey report on China", even the US think tank, Pedersen Institute of international economics, can not help but stand up to refute. In terms of intellectual property, the United States has gained a huge benefit from China: in the past ten years, the cost of technology licensing for foreign enterprises has increased by 4 times, reaching nearly $30 billion in 2017. The United States is the largest beneficiary, the fastest increase in revenue, and a 14% increase in 2017. China's published data showed that in 2017, China paid $28 billion 600 million for intellectual property rights, up 15 times more than when it joined the WTO in 2001.
In fact, the US "301 survey report on China" confuses the technology transfer at the micro level and the technology diffusion at the macro level. At the micro level, the technology transfer of foreign enterprises to Chinese enterprises is mainly "technical use of paid license", and the technical ownership of foreign enterprises has not been affected, but gain the benefit. Such a contract is a mutually beneficial cooperation formed by commercial negotiations. It is a typical market behavior and the government needs no intervention. The technical cooperation and other economic and trade cooperation between Chinese and foreign enterprises is a contractual act based on the principle of voluntariness. For many years, both enterprises have gained great benefits. This is the main source of intellectual property gains from China every year in the United States.
At the macro level, the diffusion of technology is a universal law, such as the spread of "Arabia digital" to the whole world, and the popularization of power technology to every country is the phenomenon of technology diffusion. The logic of "China 301 investigation report" was used in the United States itself. In 1886, German Karl Benz invented the first car in the world. 7 years later, American Duryea made the first car in the United States. Did the United States "steal" German auto technology?
Absurd logic does not bring reasonable behavior. Can initiating trade wars bring economic benefits to the United States? Nowadays, in the era of global value chain, most products come from the value chain that runs through many countries. If the global value chain is compared to a grid, consumption is compared to a light bulb, and the production link is compared to a switch (a switch), the number of bulbs and gates in different countries is different. America has the largest number of bulbs, but less electricity, more consumption and less production. The United States provoked a trade war equivalent to switching off some electric gates from other countries, but he did not expect his own electric gates to be shut down. The total number of electric gates in the United States is small. Once the trade war becomes a protracted war, it will surely be defeated.
The United States provoked a trade war from reason to action. In the face of the world, it seems that "not playing the cards by reason" is actually because rational powers will not come up with such absurd reasons and measures.
There are also top officials in the US who claim that the US economy is in the best position to usher in a trade war. The argument is that the US stock market and the ultra-low unemployment rate are high. Is that true? At present, the S & P 500 index is 2 times higher than the highest level before the financial crisis, and the sales data have risen only by less than 50%. The key indicator of the degree of American Equity bubbles "cycle adjustment price earnings ratio" is 32.33, which has exceeded the 26.2 of the financial crisis point, indicating a huge bubble. At the same time, the unemployment rate in the United States is low, but the labor participation rate of how many people in the working state is even less innovative, indicating that the low unemployment rate actually comes from a large number of people simply abandon their job search.
Trade war, on the surface of the United States aggressive, in fact, "Yin Huo Huo". If domestic structural problems are not solved, they will not be able to cure their roots.
(the writer is chief research fellow of Chung Yang Finance Research Institute, Renmin University of China)
Editor in responsibility: Huo Yuang
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