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人民币不是美国贸易赤字产生的原因

2006-05-12 17:50

  RMB is not cause of US trade deficit

  人民币不是美国贸易赤字产生的原因

  Some US senators have recently blamed China for the Sino-US trade deficit hitting a new high last year and have proposed placing a 27.5 per cent tariff on all Chinese products if China does not revalue the yuan.

  They believe that if China had appreciated its currency, the US deficit problem would have been solved. But it is unfair to blame China when one considers the following facts.

  Does China export too many products to the United States? No. According to US statistics, since 1994 Canada has been the biggest exporter to the United States. In 2004 Canada's exports to the United States amounted to US$ 256 billion, 30 per cent greater than China's. The second and the third largest exporters to the US market were Japan and Mexico before 2003. China became the second largest after 2003.

  The reason why the trade gap between the United States and China is so big is that US exports to China are far less than those sent to Canada, Mexico and Japan.

  The Chinese Government has not manipulated its currency exchange rate to limit imports from any country, including the United States. According to Chinese customs statistics, China had a trade surplus of about US$32 billion in 2004. Considering US trade statistics, it could be implied that China had a huge trade deficit of US$130 billion with the rest of the world. In 2004 China's imports from Asia accounted for about 66 per cent of its total imports, while imports from the United States were only 8 per cent of the total. China had huge trade deficits with South Korea, Japan, and ASEAN nations. Plus the mainland's trade dificits with its island province of Taiwan, the total reached about US$127 billion.

  Since China opened to the outside world in 1978 and has been shifting from a planned economy to a market economy, more and more foreign direct investment (FDI) has come into China. The import and export conditions in China have changed a lot. Foreign-funded companies in China have driven the main part of the Chinese import and export markets. In 2004, import and export values of foreign-funded companies accounted for about 60 per cent of the country's total trade volume.

  FDI in China mainly came from Asian markets, such as those in Japan, South Korea, Singapore as well as from Taiwan, which realized FDI of US$16.8 billion in 2004, nearly 50 per cent of the country's total (except FDI from Hong Kong and the Virgin Islands).

  Those overseas-funded companies aimed their money at not only the rapidly growing Chinese market with its 1.3 billion consumers but also at the country's lower labour costs.

  In 2003, US high-tech exports to China were 10 per cent of the Chinese total high-tech imports, ranking as just the fifth largest source of China's imports of such goods.

  The conclusion is clear: The reason for the US trade deficit with China is not about China's currency exchange rate. The key problem is some American policies which cause US manufacturers to lose their comparative advantages to other exporters.

  If the United States truly wishes to compete on a fair and open playing field, it should review its policies, including its erroneous trade policies regarding China, rather than simply making China a scapegoat. To place tariffs on all Chinese products will only hurt the interest of both countries.

  有些美国参议员最近指责中国说,去年中美贸易赤字创新高,如果中国不调整人民币币值的话,建议对所有中国的产品加收27.5%的关税。

  他们认为,若人民币升值,美国的赤字问题就会得到解决。然而,如果考虑到下列事实情况,对中国的指责是不公平的。

  中国出口到美国的产品太多了吗?不。据美国的统计资料,1994年以来,加拿大是美国的最大出口商。2004年,加拿大出口美国的金额达2560亿美元,超出中国出口美国的金额30%。2003年之前,美国市场的第二和第三大出口商是日本和墨西哥。2003年以后,中国才成为美国市场的第二大出口商。

  造成中美贸易差距那么大的原因是美国对中国的出口远远小于美国对加拿大、墨西哥和日本。

  中国政府没有调整货币汇率,以限制从任何国家(包括从美国)的进口。据中国海关的统计资料,2004年中国的贸易盈余达到320亿美元左右。再看美国的贸易统计资料,资料显示中国对美国的贸易赤字与中国对世界其他国家的贸易赤字达1300亿美元之巨。2004年中国从亚洲的进口约占进口总额的66%,而从美国的进口只占进口总额的8%。中国与南朝鲜、日本及东盟各国的贸易赤字很高,加之大陆与台湾省的贸易赤字,总额达1270亿美元左右。

  自从1978年中国对外开放以来,从计划经济向市场经济转变,越来越多的外国直接投资(FDI)进入中国,中国的进出口情况有了很大的改变。中国的外资企业占据了中国进出口市场的主要部分。2004年,外资企业的进出口值约占中国贸易总额的60%。

  中国的外国直接投资(FDI)主要来自亚洲市场,如日本、南朝鲜、新加坡及台湾等国的市场,2004年实现外国直接投资(FDI)168亿美元,占全国总额近50%(来自香港和维尔京群岛的外国直接投资除外)。

  这些海外独资公司不仅把资金投向拥有13亿消费者的迅猛发展的中国市场,而且投向中国低廉的劳动力成本。

  2003年,美国对中国的高技术出口占中国高技术进口总额的10%,排在中国进口此类货物资源的第五位。

  结论很清楚:美国与中国产生贸易赤字的原因并不是与中国货币汇率有关的问题。关键的问题是一些美国的政策使得美国的制造商失去了他们对其他出口商的比较优势。

  若美国真的希望在一个公开、开放的竞技场上展开竞争,应该重新审视其政策,包括涉及中国的错误贸易政策,而不能简单的把中国当作替罪羊。对所有中国产品加收关税只会伤害两国人民的利益。

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