Tega, v katero smer se bo razvila globalizacija, seveda nihče nima dobrega odgovora. Vsi zgolj opazujejo sedanje dogajanje in postavljajo hipoteze.Eni strašijo z deglobalizacijo, drugi zagotavljajo, da se dosedanja globalizacija zgolj preoblikuje – ker se podjetja želijo zavarovati, oblikujejo alternativne dobavne verige, ki naj bi bile bolj odporne na politične šoke. Tretji, kot je generalni sekretar OZN Antonio Guterres, pa svarijo pred bipolarizacijo globalizacije, torej da bomo zaradi razdvajanja ZDA in Kitajske dobili dva paralelna sistema globalizacije, z dvema setoma pravil, dvema dominantnima valutnima sistemoma, dvema internetoma itd.:
what I have called the Great Fracture—the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies. A tectonic rift that would create two different sets of trade rules, two dominant currencies, two internets, and two conflicting strategies on artificial intelligence. This is the last thing we need.
Dejstvo pa je, da globalizacijo potrebujemo. Omogoča specializacijo, da se lahko države specializirajo tam, kjer so najboljše, omogoča manj razvitim državam, da se prek specializacije potegnejo iz revščine in da se lahko majhne države, ki so omejene z resursi, polno razvijajo. Hkrati pa globalizacija po svoje pacifira države in njihove ozemeljske težnje – Make trade, not war. Evropska unija je najboljši primer tega. In to kvaliteto bi, kot pravi Robert Wright, veljalo ohraniti. Bolje je, da Kitajska, ZDA in Rusija med seboj trgujejo, kot pa da se bojujejo za energente in naravne vire kot pred 2. svetovno vojno. Seveda pa je v to še treba prepričati ZDA, katerim sedanja globaliacija, ki so jo same dizajnirale in usmerjale, nenadoma ne ustreza več.
Bipolarizacija globalizacije? Ne, pač pa multipolarizacija globalizacije. Kar pomeni zgolj bolj pravično vključitev v mednarodno trgovino in boljše pogoje menjave za manj razvite države pri proizvodih, kjer imajo primerjalne prednosti (surovine, hrana itd.). Za to so se manj razvite države borile v pogajalski rundi WTO, ki se je začela leta 2001 v Dohi (Doha Development Round) in ki se zaradi blokade ZDA in držav EU ni nikoli končala oziroma je mrtva. Seveda pa multipolarizacija globalizacije pomeni tudi priznanje spremembe strateških pozicij držav v zadnjih 50 letih na podlagi spremenjene ekonomske moči držav.
The Economist magazine, a tireless champion of free trade, warned last week that globalization is giving way to economic nationalism. And President Biden’s “aggressive industrial policy”—big subsidies for domestic manufacturing, made-in-the-USA mandates, bans on tech exports to China, etc.—is accelerating the process, say the magazine’s editors. “An era of zero-sum thinking has begun,” they write.
Not everyone would agree. In the Wall Street Journal, Jon Hilsenrath and Anthony DeBarros argue that globalization isn’t dying—it’s just changing. As US-China tensions grow, risk-averse companies are diversifying their global economic ties, creating supply chains more resistant to disruption by geopolitical and other vicissitudes. The Journal quotes Harvard professor Dani Rodrik saying that “what we are witnessing is not a collapse of globalization. It is more a reshaping of it.”
Maybe so, but reshaping globalization could come at a price—and not just the kind the Journal piece acknowledges, like the transitional costs exacted by the breaking of old supply chains as new ones are born. Some political scientists think that economic interdependence militates against armed conflict by raising the costs of war. So whether or not the world economy pays a big price for US-China decoupling, the world ultimately could.
Of course, the claim that economic interdependence tends to be pacifying is controversial. But one case where such interdependence was intentionally nurtured in the name of peace—the creation in 1951 of the European Coal and Steel Community, which morphed into the European Community, which morphed into the European Union—is encouraging. Suppose that in 1946—after two world wars in three decades pitted France against Germany—a visitor from the future had shown up and explained that by the end of the century France and Germany would have the same currency. The reply would likely have been, “Oh really? Which country will have conquered which?”
An underappreciated virtue of international economic integration is its fostering of transparency. China is more opaque than the US would like, but less opaque than it would be if the past few decades hadn’t featured lots of trans-Pacific investment and commerce, with all the travel and logistical and technical collaboration that involves.
This kind of “organic” transparency is important in an age when suspicions among nations can fuel dangerous arms races of new kinds. Concern about what a rival country is up to on various fronts—artificial intelligence, bioweapons, even the genetically engineered enhancement of humans—can lead to reckless research, unconstrained by legal or normative regulation.
In the long run, it would be nice to address some of these arms races the old-fashioned way—via international agreements, complete with international monitoring. In the meanwhile, the kind of transparency economic integration brings can be stabilizing; the less opaque China is, the harder it will be to whip up American fears that lead to overreaction.
All that said, a modest and selective kind of economic nationalism can make it harder to whip up other kinds of fears. The US subsidies that are leading the world’s most advanced microchip maker—Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company—to build a factory in the US may ease American insecurities about the supply of what is increasingly a vital resource. So too with the assurance that our telecommunications infrastructure isn’t in adversarial hands; however slim the prospect that Huawei’s involvement in America’s 5G system would have led to Chinese snooping or sabotage, this involvement would have been fuel for fearmongers. So maybe President Trump performed a service by preventing that.
Still, the broader declaration of tech war on China—Trump’s banning of Huawei smartphones, Biden’s far-reaching restriction on microchip exports to China—seems harder to justify and more likely to backfire.
This week in Davos the Secretary General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, worried about “what I have called the Great Fracture—the decoupling of the world’s two largest economies. A tectonic rift that would create two different sets of trade rules, two dominant currencies, two internets, and two conflicting strategies on artificial intelligence. This is the last thing we need.”
It’s “essential,” he said, for China and the US “to avoid the decoupling of economies or even… future confrontation.” It’s possible, even likely, that avoiding the first will help avoid the second.
Vir: Robert Wright, Nonzero