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中国国际经济交流中心经济研究部部长,金融学教授

 
 
 

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徐洪才:中国国际经济交流中心经济研究部部长、研究员、教授。1996年获中国社科院经济学博士学位。曾任国经中心信息部部长、首都经贸大学证券期货研究中心主任、风投公司高管、证券公司高管、中央银行官员、中国石化助理工程师。独著:《变革的时代:中国与全球经济治理》《全球化背景下的中国经济》《大国金融方略:中国金融强国的战略和方向》等。主编《工资、汇率与顺差:中国经济再平衡路径选择》《投资银行学》和《期货投资学》等。研究国际经济和国际关系。

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美国应该更加开放地拥抱全球化  

2012-01-16 11:31:36|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Renminbi not the problem

By Xu Hongcai (China Daily 01/16/2012 page8)

US should stop blaming other countries for its economic problems and be more open-minded and embrace globalization.

During his recent visit to China and Japan, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discussed sanctions against Iran and the global economy. His visit came at a time when the US economy still shows no sign of recovery, the European debt crisis still needs a solution, and growth in emerging economies is slowing down. Although the job market in the United States did show some signs of improvement in the second half of 2011, the jobless figure is still high, and the real estate market in the US is still sluggish. Meanwhile, Obama's goal to double US export growth by 2015 seems a long way out of reach. 

Although the US has stopped short of calling China a currency manipulator, the US has blamed China's exchange rate for the trade imbalance between the two countries, which reached $202.3 billion in 2011. During his visit, Geithner argued that China should continue to let its currency appreciate. But it is inappropriate for the US government to pressure for greater renminbi appreciation as China's trade surplus has been steadily falling since the global financial crisis, to $155.14 billion in 2011, a decline to about 2 percent of GDP from the previous year's 3.1 percent. And a recent report issued by China's central bank shows the renminbi has risen 30.2 percent against the dollar since July 2005, when China started to reform its currency mechanism. 

In fact, the trade imbalance between China and the US is the result of the following four factors: 

First, asset bubbles in the US that spurred export volumes from China. 

Second, since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, global capital has been flowing into China, bringing about a rapid increase in its processing trade surplus. Meanwhile, low salaries, together with relatively low domestic commodity prices, have strengthened the price competitiveness of Chinese goods in the global market. 

Third, the processing trade, which accounts for over 50 percent of China's total trade, inevitably results in a trade surplus since China exports products made of processed imported goods. Chinese companies keep only the processing fees, while the majority of the profits go to transnational corporations. 

Fourth, China maintains an advantage in labor-intensive products, but the growth in wages has not kept pace with the growth in productivity. China needs structural changes that result in fairer income distribution, greater domestic demand, improved social welfare and better protection for the environment. 

Fundamentally though, the US' trade deficit is caused by its over-consumption and low savings rate. The US is a big spender on the military and government. Therefore, the US needs to cut its government and military spending to reduce its trade deficit. 

The US inevitably seeks to find external reasons for its domestic problems rather than confronting the need to put its own house in order. Despite having a trade deficit with China, the US still restricts its exports of high-tech products to China and sets up barriers for Chinese companies investing in the US. The US should be more open-minded and participate more in economic globalization. 

The US is also used to imposing its own views on others and believes it has the right to put other countries on a "black list". For instance, the Treasury Department of United States has the right to declare China a currency manipulator, which is against WTO rules and international law. The US is also putting pressure on China by seeking its support on financial sanctions against Iran. However, China consistently opposes any country overriding international law. 

Experience shows that realizing a mutually beneficial win-win situation is the fundamental way to solve the trade imbalance between China and US and pull the US out of its current recession. China's rise is not a threat but an opportunity for the US. If the US can lift its export ban on high-tech products to meet the huge demand created by China's urbanization and modernization, it can further share the fruits of China's economic growth. 

The US should also reduce trade protectionism and reduce its barriers against Chinese companies investing in the US. Lastly, the US should enlarge the number of Chinese people who travel, study and emigrate to the US, therefore boosting its job and real estate markets. 

The author is a professor at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges. 

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