Kot sem pisal v Paradoksih globalizacije (1): Zahodni pohlep, ki je uničil srednji razred, je v ZDA med letom 2001, ko je Kitajska stopila v WTO, in začetkom krize v 2008, izginilo 3.5 mio delovnih mest v industriji. Do leta 2017 nato še za dober milijon delovnih mest. Obstajajo različne ocene, koliko je k temu izginotju ameriške industrije prispevala prosta trgovina s Kitajsko. Spodnja meja ocen je ena tretjina.
Spodaj navajam analizo, ki sta jo za Economic Policy Institute pripravila Robert E. Scott in Zane Mokhiber. Njuna ocena je, da je povečan ameriški trgovinski deficit s Kitajsko med letoma 2001 in 2018 odnesel (vsaj) 3.7 milijona delovnih mest. Njuna analiza je zanimiva tudi zato, ker primerjata pričakovanja Clintonove adminstracije, kako bo odpiranje Kitajske po vstopu v WTO pripomoglo k povečanju ameriškega izvoza na kitajski trg in k spodbujanju ameriških delovnih mest, ter tega, kar se je dejansko zgodilo. Ameriški izvoz na Kitajsko se je v obdobju 2001-2018 resda povečal za 5.2-krat, uvoz iz Kitajske pa le za 4.2-krat, toda ko to prevedete v absolutne številke, postanejo zadeve zelo resne. Namreč ameriški izvoz se je povečal iz 19 na 120 milijard dolarjev, uvoz iz Kitajske pa iz 102 na 534 milijard dolarjev, kar pomeni, da se je trgovinski deficit s Kitajsko povečal iz 83 na 420 milijard dolarjev. To so povsem druge dimenzije.
Analiza je zelo zanimiva, preberite nekaj odlomkov spodaj. Predvsem pa je pomemben nauk te zgodbe. Eno so namreč pričakovanja in modelske simulacije potencialnih učinkov ob določenih predpostavkah, drugo pa realističnost teh predpostavk. Pričakovanja, da se bo Kitajska odprla kot zrela lubenica za uvoz ameriških izdelkov, kot so to naredile denimo latinskoameriške države, so bila povsem napačna. Nihče ni predvidel, da ima kitajska komunistična partija zelo dolgoročno strategijo razvoja in podrednih razvojnih in industrijskih politik, katerih namen je bil prvenstveno na eni strani privabiti tuji kapital v povečanje kitajskih industrijskih kapacitet in tuj know-how v od države kontrolirano okolje, kopiranje (krajo) tega znanja in njegova nadgradnja v nove tehnologije, in na drugi strani enostransko spodbujanje kitajskega izvoza z vsemi sredstvi, tudi z manipuliranjem menjalnega tečaja yuana. Drugače rečeno, nihče ni pričakoval, da ima kitajska komunistična partija plan in da bo nategnila samozaverovane zahodne politike in lastnike kapitala kot naivne šolarčke.
Dobro, kitajska komunistična partija je nategnila vse, toda vprašanje je, kaj po tem spoznanju? Naadaljevati z globalizacijo, ki je izrazito v kitajsko korist in ki hkrati prispeva k drastično povečanim emisijam toplogrednih plinov in globalnemu segrevanju, ali pa v skrbi za domača delovna mesta in za podnebje spremeniti ta model in globalizaciji kontrolirano pristriči peruti? Torej slediti Trumpu ali ne…
Vem, povsem neumestno in neprimerno vprašanje, vendar…
U.S. proponents of admitting China into the World Trade Organization frequently claimed that letting China into the WTO would increase U.S. exports, shrink the U.S. trade deficit with China, and create jobs in the United States.1 In 2000, President Bill Clinton claimed that the agreement then being negotiated to allow China into the WTO would create “a win-win result for both countries.” Exports to China “now support hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” said Clinton, and these figures “can grow substantially with the new access to the Chinese market the WTO agreement creates” (Clinton 2000, 9–10).
China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 was supposed to bring it into compliance with an enforceable, rules-based regime that would require China to open its markets to imports from the United States and other nations by reducing Chinese tariffs and addressing nontariff barriers to trade. Promoters of liberalized U.S.–China trade argued that the United States would benefit because of increased exports to a large and growing consumer market in China. The United States also negotiated a series of temporary special safeguard measures designed to limit the disruptive effects of surging imports from China on domestic producers.
However, China’s trade-distorting practices, aided by China’s currency manipulation and misalignment and its suppression of wages and labor rights, resulted in a flood of dumped and subsidized imports that greatly exceeded the growth of U.S. exports to China. These trade-distorting practices included extending large subsidies to industries such as steel, glass, paper, concrete, and renewable energy industries and rapidly growing its state-owned enterprises, both of which generated a massive buildup of excess capacity in a range of these sectors. This excess capacity created a supply of goods far exceeding Chinese consumer demand, and China dealt with the oversupply by dumping the exports elsewhere, primarily in the United States (Scott 2017a, Scott and Mokhiber 2018).
The promised surge of U.S. exports to China was also hampered by China’s failure to implement certain policies to increase domestic demand for goods, including goods produced by trading partners. Specifically, for China to become a better market for U.S. exports, it needed to stimulate the growth of domestic consumption through policies that would allow workers to organize and bargain collectively, thus raising wages. China also needed to increase domestic consumption through increased social spending and reductions to the country’s massive savings rate (Scott 2017a). Such policies are all elements of a program of domestic, demand-led growth that the United States, other advanced countries, and international agencies have called on China to implement for many years. But none of these policies have been implemented at anywhere near a large enough scale, and China’s national savings rate has actually increased significantly over the past 15 years (Setser 2016; IMF 2019), which has contributed to the growth of U.S. trade deficits (Bernstein 2016).
In addition, China’s policies spurred foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chinese enterprises and the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing plants, which has expanded China’s manufacturing sector at the expense of the U. S. manufacturing sector, thereby affecting the trade balance between the two countries. Finally, the core of the WTO agreement failed to include any protections to maintain or improve labor or environmental standards or to prohibit currency manipulation. (The descriptions in this paragraph derive from Scott 2017a.)
As a result of these forces, the U.S. trade deficit with China soared after China entered the WTO.
Table 1 displays changes in the U.S.–China goods trade deficit and job displacement from 2001 to 2018 (when the term “trade deficit” is used in this report, it always refers to the goods trade deficit). As the table shows, imports from China increased dramatically in this period, rising from $102.3 billion in 2001 to $539.2 billion in 2018.2 U.S. exports to China rose at a rapid rate from 2001 to 2018, but from a much smaller base, from $19.2 billion in 2001 to $120.1 billion in 2018. As a result, China’s exports to the United States in 2018 (“U.S. general imports”) were more than four times greater than U.S. exports to China. These trade figures make the China trade relationship the United States’ most imbalanced trade relationship by far (authors’ analysis of USITC 2019).
Overall, the U.S. goods trade deficit with China grew from $83.0 billion in 2001 to $419.5 billion in 2018, an increase of $336.5 billion. Put another way, since China entered the WTO in 2001, the U.S. trade deficit with China has increased annually by $19.8 billion, or 10.0%, on average.3 Although not shown in the table, we can also examine the trade deficit in another way—not by how much it grew annually, but by adding up what the total deficit was each year to produce a cumulative figure. The data reveal that the cumulative U.S. trade deficit with China over the 2002–2018 (post-WTO) era was $4.7 trillion (USITC 2019 and authors’ calculations).
Between 2008 and 2018, the U.S. goods trade deficit with China increased $153.2 billion. This 57.5% increase occurred despite the Great Recession–induced collapse in world trade between 2008 and 2009 and the 17.7% decline in the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world between 2008 and 2018. As a result, China’s share of the overall U.S. goods trade deficit increased from 31.6% in 2008 to 47.2% in 2018. (The figures in this paragraph derive from the authors’ analysis of USITC 2019 and U.S. Census Bureau 2019d.)
Each $1 billion in exports to another country from the United States supports some American jobs. However, each $1 billion in imports from another country leads to job loss—by eliminating existing jobs and preventing new job creation—as imports displace goods that otherwise would have been made in the United States by domestic workers.4 The net employment effect of trade depends on the changes in the trade balance. An improving trade balance can support job creation, but a growing trade deficit usually results in growing net U.S. job displacement.
Jobs displaced by the United States’ growing trade deficit with China are a net drain on employment in trade-related industries, especially those in manufacturing. Even if increases in demand in other sectors absorb all the workers displaced by trade (which is unlikely), job quality will likely suffer because many nontraded industries such as retail trade and home health care pay lower wages and have less comprehensive benefits than traded-goods industries (Scott 2013, Scott and Mokhiber 2018).
As shown in the bottom panel of Table 1, U.S. exports to China in 2001 supported 175,800 jobs, but U.S. imports displaced production that would have supported 1,132,500 jobs. Therefore, the $83.0 billion trade deficit in 2001 displaced 956,700 jobs in that year. Net job displacement rose to 2,987,000 jobs in 2008 and 4,661,400 jobs in 2018. As a result, since China’s entry into the WTO in 2001 and through 2018, the increase in the U.S.–China trade deficit eliminated or displaced 3,704,700 U.S. jobs. Also shown in Table 1, the U.S. trade deficit with China increased by $153.2 billion (or 57.5%) between 2008 and 2018. During that period, the number of jobs displaced increased by 1,674,300 (or 56.1%).
For comparative purposes, the growth of the U.S.–China trade deficit between 2001 and 2018 represents a direct loss of 1.6% of U.S. GDP in 2018 (authors’ analysis of BEA 2019). Using a macroeconomic model with standard economic multipliers (see Appendix: Methodology in Scott and Glass 2016 for further details) yields an estimate of 3.4 million jobs displaced by a trade deficit of this magnitude, providing further support for the job displacement estimates shown in Table 1.8
Total jobs lost or displaced between 2008 and 2018 alone increased by 1,674,300 either by the elimination of existing jobs or by the prevention of new job creation through the displacement of domestic production by imports.
The total number of jobs displaced by the growing U.S.–China trade deficit, as estimated here, is thus directly proportional to the size of the total bilateral deficit, which has increased steadily throughout the 2001–2018 period, except for a sharp decline in the recession year of 2009 and a much smaller drop in 2016. Figure A shows visually how rising trade deficits have displaced a growing number of jobs every year since China joined the WTO, with the exception of 2009 (during the Great Recession) and 2016 (during a brief lull in imports from China). On average, 232,000 jobs per year have been lost or displaced since China’s entry into the WTO (as shown in Table 1, last row, and data column four).
Vir: Robert E. Scott in Zane Mokhiber, Economic Policy Institute