Joschka Fischer v Project Syndicate oravilno ugotavlja, da je s Trumpovim pristopom k zunanji trgovini konec sveta, kot smo ga poznali. Vračamo se nazaj iz multilateralizma in proste trgovine k hladnovojni blokovski trgovinski ureditvi. Ki pa tudi ni takšna, kot smo jo poznali. Takrat je bila jasna razdelitev na zahodno in sovjetsko politično hemisfero (z malce začimbe “neuvrščenosti”). Tokrat pa imamo najmanj tri enakovredno močne ekonomske bloke in v tem ameriško-kitajskem merjenju moči bodo vse države morale zavzeti svoje stališče, tudi Evropa. Kar pomeni tudi odločitve glede tehnologij – ameriške ali kitajske. In pomeni nevarnost politično-vojaških eskalacij. No good.
R.E.M. imajo sicer genialno pesem iz konca 1980. let – “It’s the end of the world as we know, but I feel fine.” Ampak to je bilo ob koncu hladnovojnega obdobja in propadu komunizma, zdaj pa drvimo nazaj v neznano. Moj želodec se ob tem ne počuti prav dobro, bolje prenašam močan jugo na barki.
After three decades of moving toward a single global market governed by the rules of the World Trade Organization, the international order has undergone a fundamental change. The United States and China are locked in a tariff war that at first seemed to be about the bilateral trade balance, but has turned out to be about much more. Until recently, one could find hope in the fact that, despite frequent exchanges of threats, the two countries were negotiating. Not anymore.
Last month, under pressure from US President Donald Trump’s administration, Google terminated its cooperation with Huawei, thereby depriving the Chinese smartphone maker of the license to use Google’s Android software and related services. The move poses an existential threat to Huawei. But, more than that, it marks both a new pinnacle in the Sino-American conflict and the end of US-led globalization. The message from the US is clear: technology and software exports are no longer just a matter of business; they are about power. From now on, the US will put might over market.
Now that the conflict has assumed the form of a hegemonic struggle, China may have to pull out all the stops to protect its national champions. That means withdrawing as quickly as possible from all supply chains that rely on US-made high-tech inputs, particularly semiconductors. China would have to start sourcing all the necessary components domestically, or from safe partners within its orbit.
In the medium term, this adjustment would effectively divide the world into two spheres of economic competition. Sooner or later, all smaller powers dependent on global markets would have to choose a side, unless they are somehow strong enough to withstand both American and Chinese pressure. With China and the US both demanding clarity, even economic giants like the European Union, India, and Japan would be faced with an intractable economic dilemma.
Assuming that an open, unified global market does indeed become a thing of the past, the question, then, will be how China plays its cards. As America’s largest creditor, would it see a currency war as its ace up the sleeve? If so, an already dangerous struggle for global technological preeminence would become a broader and more immediately perilous conflict.
Vir: Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate