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I have an MBA in Finance from the Booth School at the University of Chicago and a masters degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. I manage our investments and advice my friends & family on financial decisions. I work in Marketing Research using stats to support... More
  • Victims of a China Trade war? New Opium wars.. 4 comments
    Sep 14, 2009 1:10 PM

    Obama's decision to raise tariffs on Chinese tires has raised the specter of trade war  (Ghost of Smoot-Hawley).  This has raised the question of who might suffer if this spat escalates from more than sniping.

    Trade: China exports a lot to the developing world (2008 EU $293B US $252B) and imports from some developed and developing commodity countries (2008 Japan $151B EU $133B Oil $129B).  It also imports semi-finished goods from other Asian economies for final assembly and is significant source of the global trade dependent countries (Baltic Shipping, Egyptian Suez, Somali pirates - not all bad..).  It this escalates China manufacturing will be hurt more than US (fighting with your biggest customer usually does that).  The Asia pacific region will see a bigger impact from the outcome as Chinese exports shrivel from the fallout.  The US customer will see inflation going up at Walmart but may choose to source from other countries (Mexico) and increase domestic production.
    The Doha round will go kaput and many more emerging countries will see potential benefits from market openings vanish (Africa).
    US will likely have the least impact while the rest of the world suffers greatly, some of the existing global imbalances may readjust.  It can affect the global American brand or Chinese brand based on the outcome of the blame game on the global consumer.  This may have far reaching consequences well into the future.

    US Manufacturing: Domestically focused manufacturing will benefit from this stance, while global manufacturers (caterpillar) will suffer loss of current and potential growth.  Men who are disproportionately represented in manufacturing will see a rise in employment to counter the rise in unemployment in this recession.  Unions will see increased enrollment and growth along with the manufacturing recovery. 

    US Consumer: The loss of cheap imports will show up in Walmart prices but the rise in manufacturing employment will show up in Consumer income minus the loss in income from lower global demand (much smaller part of the US economy).  The inflation loss could be much more severe if the economy was not in such bad shape with a lot of spare production capacity (July 68.5% being used).

    US Debt:Foreign investors can become reluctant to finance the large US debt.  They will however, have to find an alternative to park a few trillion dollars, maybe oil will work.  The increases in domestic savings and the reduction in trade surplus mean that the need will be less as long as the trend is sustained.


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Comments (4)
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  • Glen88
    , contributor
    Comments (107) | Send Message
    Very good summation.
    15 Sep 2009, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Plant the seeds
    , contributor
    Comments (226) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » Thank you
    15 Sep 2009, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Aby Abraham
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    I wouldn't trust the Chinese at all. They are laying out the foundation for,first supreme dominance over Asia and then world dominance. Countries like India should watch out and shouldn't fall for their sweet talking trade relations. Pretty soon they are going to get aggressive on their claim that areas that belongs to India( the Frontier States of Arunachalapredesh etc, etc)belong to them. If there is going to be a 3rd world war( you cannot ignore that probability), Chinese will start it.
    16 Sep 2009, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • Plant the seeds
    , contributor
    Comments (226) | Send Message
    Author’s reply » The Indo-Chinese relationship is a troubled one including the war in 1962. There is also emerging trade disputes earlier this year on Indian anti-dumping duties. There is also a competitive rivalry between 2 of the biggest emerging countries that will reshape the world in the next few decades
    16 Sep 2009, 11:50 AM Reply Like
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