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Can Trump win a trade war with China?

《华盛顿邮报》:特朗普能否赢得与中国的贸易战?



For years, President Trump has railed against the threat of Chinese trade. China, he said, was operating on an uneven playing field, using unfair trade practices that supposedly harm the U.S. economy, steal American jobs and contribute to a vast trade deficit that now stands at $375 billion.

多年来,特朗普总统一直在抱怨中国贸易的威胁。他说,中国是在一个不平衡的竞争环境中运作的,采用了不公平的贸易做法,据称损害了美国经济,窃取了美国的就业机会,造成了目前3750亿美元的巨额贸易逆差。

“The current trade imbalance is not acceptable,” Trump said during a speech before Asian leaders and dignitaries in Vietnam last November. “The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating or economic aggression. Those days are over.”

“目前的贸易失衡是不可接受的,”特朗普去年11月在越南对亚洲领导人和要人发表演讲时说“美国将不再对侵犯、欺骗或经济侵略视而不见,那些日子已经过去了。“

On Thursday, he finally took action against Beijing. The president announced his decision to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports a year and limit China's capacity to invest in the American technology industry.

周四,他终于对中国采取了行动,特朗普总统宣布,他决定对每年价值600亿美元的中国进口产品征收关税,并限制中国对美国技术产业的投资能力。

Trump and his lieutenants defend their actions as a way to reassert American “sovereignty” over matters of international diplomacy and trade. An investigation launched by the administration in August found a range of “unfair” practices in China, particularly related to Beijing's apparent theft or forced transfer of intellectual property from American businesses. And, like Trump's earlier move to slap tariffs on certain steel and aluminum imports from various countries, including some close allies, the latest measures are another sign that Trump is following through on his campaign promises.

特朗普及其副手为自己的行动辩护,认为这是在国际外交和贸易事务上重申美国“主权”的一种方式。美国政府8月份发起的一项调查称中国存在一系列“不公平”行为,特别是北京方面明显盗窃行为或强行从美国企业转移知识产权有关。而且,就像特朗普早些时候对从包括一些亲密盟友在内的一些国家进口的某些钢铁和铝征收关税一样,最新措施也是特朗普兑现竞选承诺的又一个迹象。

News of the move sent the stock market plunging and boosted fears of a looming trade war. The Economist calculated that for every American firm in favor of Trump's protectionist policies, there may be as many as 3,000 opposed.

这一消息传出后,股市暴跌,并加剧了人们对一场迫在眉睫的贸易战的担忧。
《经济学人 》估计,每有1家美国公司支持特朗普的保护主义政策的背后,可能会有多达3000家公司反对。

“Trade is not zero sum. It helps to grow the standards of living of people around the globe,” wrote Steve Odland, the CEO of the Committee for Economy Development, a pro-free trade think tank, on CNBC's website. “We need the inexpensive products from outside the country to raise our standard of living. And, with only 5 percent of the world population, we need open access to markets for our own goods to grow our economy. We cannot have one without the other.”

“ 贸易不是零和游戏,它有助于提高全球人民的生活水平,“ 支持自由贸易的智囊团“ 经济发展委员会”(Committee For Economic Development ) 首席执行官史蒂夫·奥德兰在CNBC的网站上写道“ 我们需要来自国外的廉价产品来提高我们的生活水平,而且,我们只占世界人口的5%,我们需要开放的市场准入,销售我们自己的商品,以增长我们的经济,我们不能为了一个目标而失去另一个。“

Then, just hours after Trump's announcement, Beijing showed its willingness to strike back. “China does not want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid of a trade war,” said China's Commerce Ministry in a statement issued Friday morning in Beijing.

然后,就在特朗普发表声明的几个小时后,北京方面表现出了反击的意愿。中国商务部周五上午在北京发表的一份声明中表示“中国不想打贸易战,但绝对不怕贸易战 ”。

The ministry said it had “compiled a list of 120 products worth nearly $1 billion, including fresh fruit and wine, upon which it would impose a 15 percent tariff if the two countries fail to resolve their trade differences 'within a stipulated time,'" reported my colleague David J. Lynch.

据我的同事戴维 · J · 林奇报道,(中国)商务部表示,它“ 列出了120种产品,价值近10亿美元,其中包括新鲜水果和葡萄酒,如果两国未能在规定时间内解决贸易分歧,它将对这些产品征收15%的关税。”

There were no further details about the products that Beijing might target, but there is no lack of options. China, a huge buyer of commercial jets made by the American firm Boeing, could look to Airbus or other non-U. S. companies in a bid to hurt the American aviation industry. American tech companies like Apple and Intel, which have significant manufacturing operations in China, could be squeezed with punitive measures.

关于北京方面可能瞄准的产品,没有进一步的细节,但也不乏选择,中国是美国波音公司制造的商用飞机的大买家,可以寻求向空中客车或其他非美国航空公司采购,以打击美国航空业,苹果和英特尔等在中国拥有大量制造业务的美国科技公司,可能会受到惩罚性措施的挤压。

Beijing could also mimic the European Union's potential retaliatory measures against the United States, such as tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. And it could depreciate its currency, the yuan, to make Chinese exports even more competitive — and further infuriate Trump.

中国政府还可能效仿欧盟对美国的潜在报复措施,比如对哈雷戴维森摩托征收关税,它还可能使人民币贬值,从而使中国出口产品更具竞争力——并进一步激怒特朗普。

Then there's the agriculture sector, where China could target American imports of sorghum and soybeans. “China could rely more on South America for soy: Brazil exported more soybeans than ever last year — nearly 51 million tons — and nearly all of it went to China,” noted NPR. “Should China take measures against U.S. soybean imports, it would likely hurt American farmers, a base of support for Trump.”

还有农业部门,中国可以瞄准美国进口高粱和大豆。 " 中国可以更多地进口南美洲大豆:巴西去年的大豆出口量比以往任何时候都多ーー近5100万吨ーー而且几乎全部出口到中国。", "如果中国对美国的大豆进口采取措施,可能会伤害到美国农民,这是支持特朗普的基础。"

Beijing seems keenly aware of that. “If China halves the proportion of the U.S. soybean imports, it will not have any major impact on China, but the U.S. bean farmers will complain,” noted an editorial in the state-run Global Times. “They were mostly Trump supporters. Let them confront Trump.”

北京方面似乎敏锐地意识到了这一点,中国国营媒体《环球时报》的一篇社论指出:" 如果中国将美国大豆进口的比例减半,它将不会对中国产生任何重大影响,但美国的豆农们将会抱怨。", " 他们大多数都是特朗普的支持者,让他们去直面特朗普吧。"

Indeed, American consumers will be the losers no matter where China may apply pressure. “There is no way to impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports without it having a negative impact on American consumers. Make no mistake, these tariffs may be aimed at China, but the bill will be charged to American consumers who will pay more at the checkout for the items they shop for every day,” said Hun Quach, vice president for international trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, to my colleagues.

事实上,无论中国在哪里施加压力,美国消费者都将成为输家。
" 没有办法在不对美国消费者产生负面影响的情况下对中国进口商品征收500亿美元的关税。 毫无疑问,这些关税可能是针对中国的,但是这项法案加征的关税最终将会由美国消费者付出,他们每天购买的商品在结账时会付更多的钱 ",零售业领袖协会负责国际贸易副总裁Hun Quach对我的同事说。

And while Trump's perennial bugbear is the lopsided deficit between the two countries, economists stress that he is misreading how global trade works. “Retaliatory trade barriers put up by other countries would hurt U.S. exports and offset reduced imports, meaning the trade deficit wouldn’t vanish,” wrote Eswar Prasad for The Post's Outlook section. “What’s more, lower exports would mean less employment — a possible unintended consequence of Trump’s policy.”

尽管特朗普的长期困扰是两国之间的不平衡赤字,但经济学家们强调,他误解了全球贸易的运作方式。
“ 其他国家设置的报复性贸易壁垒将损害美国出口,抵消进口减少的影响,这意味着贸易逆差不会消失,”华盛顿邮报《展望》栏目的埃斯瓦尔·普拉萨德写道,“ 更重要的是,出口下降将意味着就业减少——这可能是特朗普政策的意外后果。”

Prasad warned Trump against firing the first shot of a battle no one wants to fight: “A trade war wounds all combatants: It rattles business and consumer confidence, restrains exports, and hurts growth. Many U.S. businesses rely on low trade barriers to create international supply chains that reduce costs and increase efficiency. These could come apart amid the new tariffs. The last time the United States imposed sweeping tariffs, in the 1930s, the effect was to prolong and worsen the Great Depression. Winning a trade war by destroying both imports and exports would be a Pyrrhic victory.”

普拉萨德警告特朗普不要打响一场没有人想打的战争的第一枪:“ 贸易战会伤害所有参战者:它动摇了企业和消费者的信心,限制了出口,损害了经济增长。许多美国企业依靠低贸易壁垒来建立国际供应链,以降低成本和提高效率。在新关税政策的影响下,这些措施可能会分崩离析。美国上一次征收全面关税是在上世纪30年代,当时的后果是延长和恶化了大萧条。通过破坏进口和出口来赢得一场贸易战,将是一场得不偿失的胜利。“

Yet, Trump seems undeterred. It's unclear where things go from here. “We don’t know how this is going to turn out,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the project on Chinese business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to my colleagues. “It could be resolved in a few months, or it could spiral out of control into a broader strategic rivalry.”

然而,特朗普似乎毫不畏惧,现在还不清楚事态的发展方向,“ 我们不知道结果会怎样,”战略与国际研究中心中国商业项目主任斯科特·肯尼迪对我的同事们说,“ 问题可能在几个月内得到解决,也可能会失控,演变成更广泛的战略竞争。”

Trump administration officials speak of reshaping the post-World War II international system, whose rules are no longer apparently in the American interest. Critics decry such thinking, given the extent to which Washington wrote those very rules.


特朗普政府官员谈到重塑二战后的国际体系,该体系的规则显然不再符合美国的利益。
考虑到华盛顿制定这些规则的程度,批评人士谴责这种观点。

“On present form, ‘America First’ is a threat to the entire basis of the multilateral trading system,” wrote Michael Johnson, a former British trade negotiator, in a blog post for the World Economic Forum. He added: “America does seem to be stepping back from its history as a main driver of the open international trading system.”

前英国贸易谈判代表迈克尔 · 约翰逊在为世界经济论坛撰写的一篇博客文章中写道:“就目前形式而言,‘美国优先’对多边贸易体系的整个基础构成了威胁。”他补充道:“ 美国似乎正在放弃其作为开放国际贸易体系主要推动者的历史角色。”

Trump's critics are hoping he won't be also driving the international system wildly off course.

特朗普的批评者们希望他不会也把国际体系疯狂偏离轨道。

Ishaan Tharoor
Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.

作者简介:
伊沙恩 · 塔鲁尔为《华盛顿邮报 》撰写有关外交事务的文章,他之前是《时代》杂志的资深编辑和记者,最初在香港,后来来到纽约。