劳动产品是由什么人说了算 | 相当法顾 2

The silk-silver axis

作者 | 蒋进


The world’s most important economic relationship is also its most
2665 words

fraught: If you say that a situation or action is fraught, you
mean that it is worrying or difficult.

图片 1


  1. IN 1784 the Empress of China set sail from New York, on the first
    American trade mission to China. Carrying ginseng, lead and woollen
    cloth, the merchants aboard dreamed of cracking open the vast
    Asian market. But the real profit, they found, came on their return,
    when they brought Chinese teas and porcelain to America. As other
    ships followed in its wake, the pattern became clear. Americans
    wanted more from China than Chinese wanted from America, and the
    difference was made up with a steady outflow of silver from
    America into China. The Empress had launched not just commercial
    ties between the two great countries but also an American deficit in
    its trade with China.

in sb’s/sth’s wake: behind or after someone or something


  1. The modern incarnation of this deficit is still driven by the
    flow of consumer goods, but nowadays electronic gadgets. In recent
    years it has reached a record size (see chart 1). When Xi Jinping,
    China’s president, meets Donald Trump—a meeting is reportedly
    planned in Florida early in April—the deficit will top the agenda.
    In his run to the White House, Mr Trump promised a combative
    stance against China on trade. Some expect America to slap
    punitive tariffs
    on Chinese goods, triggering an all-out trade
    war. Others think a grand bargain that defuses tensions is possible.

slap: to suddenly announce a new charge, tax etc or say that
something is not allowed – used especially when you think this is


图片 2


  1. Many American businesses, bruised in their dealings with China,
    cautiously welcome a harder line. For their part, Chinese
    businesses feel unjustly singled out. Both sides are nervous,
    conscious that the world’s most important economic relationship is
    also its most complex. America and China are bound together by
    cross-border flows of goods, cash, people and ideas that are bigger
    than ever. These ties have greatly benefited the two countries’
    prosperity. A rupture would be severely damaging for both.

bruised: to affect someone badly and make them feel less
hard line: a strict way of dealing with someone or something
single out: to choose one person or thing from among a group
because they are better, worse, more important etc than the others
rupture: a situation in which two countries, groups of people etc
suddenly disagree and often end their relationship with each other


  1. The original sin, for Mr Trump’s most hawkish advisers, is the
    trade imbalance. Before China joined the World Trade Organisation
    (WTO) in 2001, China accounted for less than a quarter of America’s
    total trade deficit; over the past five years, it has made up
    two-thirds. Peter Navarro, head of Mr Trump’s new National Trade
    Council, sees the deficit as a drag on America’s economy. Close
    it, he argues, and America’s GDP will be bigger. And he sees a way
    to do so: take on China over its unfair trade practices, from
    currency meddling to export subsidies. In 2012 he released a
    documentary, “Death by China”, as a call to arms.

If you take someone on, you fight them or compete against them,
especially when they are bigger or more powerful than you are.
** a call to arms**: a strong request for people to fight in the
army (figurative)

2001年中国加盟世贸社团事先,中国占United States贸易逆差的不到四分之一;在过去五年中,它曾经占三分之二。特朗普新全国贸易委员会主席Peter·纳瓦罗(PeterNavarro)认为赤字是米利坚经济的拖累。他说,终结它,弥利坚的GDP会更大。他以为有一种方式可行:为有失偏颇贸易行为(从货币干预到讲话补贴)与华夏斗争

  1. Mr Navarro’s views rely on crude arithmetic that defies the most
    basic economic logic. In fact, big deficits often accompany fast
    growth. And it is misleading to focus on bilateral imbalances in
    an age of global supply chains. Counting the bits and pieces
    from other countries that go into “made in China” smartphones,
    fridges and televisions, China’s trade surplus with America is about
    a third smaller than officially reported.

** bits and pieces** also bits and bobs: any small things of
various kinds


  1. Yet the gap ought perhaps to be smaller still. American companies
    insist that, with a level playing field, they would be able to
    sell much more to China. Some of the obstacles in their way are
    obvious. Carmakers, for instance, face 25% import tariffs. More
    often, barriers are subtler. Medical-device makers cite onerous
    licensing procedures and seed firms lengthy approvals.

a level playing field: a situation in which different people,
companies, countries, etc can all compete fairly because no one has
special advantages


  1. Indeed, America had been adopting a firmer approach to China on
    trade long before the election. Barack Obama’s administration
    stepped up pressure through the WTO. Of America’s 25 formal WTO
    complaints filed after 2008, 16 were against China. The
    administration also initiated 99 anti-dumping and
    countervailing-duty investigations against China, more than against
    any other country (see chart 2).

stepped up: If you step up something, you increase it or increase
its intensity.


图片 3


  1. China sees a pattern of unfair treatment. For Mei Xinyu, a
    researcher at the commerce ministry, what is wrong with the
    bilateral relationship is obvious: “American protectionism”. America
    has to cure its own ills and building walls won’t help, he says.
    Most emblematic is America’s decision to withhold
    “market-economy status” from China, which allows higher duties to be
    put on Chinese imports.


  1. Chinese officials cite another example of unequal standards—the
    time-worn American complaint, made especially loudly by Mr
    Trump, that China fiddles its currency to cheapen its exports.
    China certainly does manage the yuan, but over the past decade it
    has let it appreciate by nearly two-fifths against a broad currency
    basket—more than any other big economy has.


  1. Left to its own devices, the trade relationship between China
    and America should become more balanced in time. As China’s
    middle class grows, its consumers are buying more from abroad.
    Chinese demand for American agricultural products, especially
    soyabeans, has boomed. China is already buying more services from
    America then vice versa. One of America’s biggest exports to China
    is education. The number of Chinese students in America has reached
    nearly 330,000—almost a third of all foreign students—and is up more
    than fivefold over the past decade.

leave to (one’s) own devices: To allow to do as one pleases:


Battle lines

  1. But if Mr Trump carries out his most extreme threats and whacks a
    45% across-the-board tariff on Chinese goods, trade flows between
    the two giants—the world’s biggest bilateral trading
    relationship—would shrivel. Collateral damage to the global
    economy would be immense. The very survival of the rules-based
    international trading system would be at stake.

at stake: at issue ; in jeopardy

世界上最大的双边贸易关系—— 将会

  1. China would, in a conventional analysis, suffer more in a trade war.
    About a fifth of its exports go to America, equating to nearly 4% of
    Chinese GDP. Less than a tenth of American exports go to China,
    worth less than 1% of American GDP. But a fight would also hit
    America hard. No other country could easily replace China in making
    many of the products, from toys to textiles, that fill American
    shops. Consumers would face sharply higher prices. American
    companies that have used China as a production base would struggle
    to reconfigure their supply chains. If American firms brought
    factories back home, prices would rocket. Goldman Sachs, an
    investment bank, estimates that the cost of producing clothing would
    increase by 46% and smartphones by 37%.

12)古板的辨析以为,中国在贸易战争中会遭逢更加多的损失。其约五分之一的说道销往美利坚同盟国,约等于中华GDP的近4%。不到格外之一的美利坚同盟国讲话销往中国,不到United StatesGDP的1%。但一场战斗也将沉重打击美利坚合营国。没有任何国家可以很简单地替代中国创建过多出品,从玩具到纺织品,来填充United States商厦。消费者将面临更高的价钱。以华夏为生育基地的美利坚合营国集团将举步维艰去重新配置其供应链。倘使United States公司把工厂搬回国,价格就会暴涨。投资银行高盛预计,衣服开销将加码46%,智能手机增加37%。

  1. Moreover, China would retaliate. Even if America as a whole
    runs a deficit, it has industries and companies that
    increasingly rely on Chinese demand. Nearly half its fruit and seed
    exports go to China. China is in some months the world’s biggest
    market for iPhones. Semiconductor-makers such as Qualcomm and
    Broadcom derive most of their revenues from China (see chart 3).

run: To accumulate or accrue


图片 4


  1. All this helps explain why Mr Trump has so far trod softly in
    confronting China. James McGregor, Greater China chairman of APCO
    Worldwide, a lobbying firm, says that American bosses have been
    streaming into Washington for meetings with the Trump team to
    appeal for calm and to teach them that “China is not a country to be
    toyed with.” But perhaps Mr Trump has merely been distracted by
    the rocky start to his domestic agenda and it is only a matter
    of time before he lashes out at China. If he does, though, he
    will soon learn that trade is not the only show in town.
    Investment gets much less attention but is also vital to the

tread: to be very careful about what you say or do in a difficult
toyed with: to lie to someone or trick them, for example saying
that you love them when you do not
rocky: A rocky situation or relationship is unstable and full of
lashes out at : to try to hit someone, with a series of violent,
uncontrolled movements
the only show in town: The only one of its kind available

一家游说集团APCO Worldwide大中华区董事长詹姆斯·麦格雷戈(詹姆士McGregor)表示,美利坚联邦合众国COO早就涌入华盛顿,与特朗普团队会晤,呼吁冷静,并教他们说“中国不是一个被玩弄的国度。”但恐怕川普先生只是因为她的国内议程的不平稳的始于而分心,在他意想不到攻击中国前面,只是一个小时难点。然则,如果她那样做,他飞快就会领悟,贸易并不是唯一(值得关注)的。投资赢得的关爱较少,但对两国关系也根本。

  1. Start with a myth—that China can bankrupt the American
    government. Over the past decade, China has invested more than $1trn
    in Treasuries. At its peak, America owed more money to China than to
    anywhere else. Pundits fret that, were China to dump its
    , American interest rates would shoot up and the dollar

myth: an idea or story that many people believe, but which is not
Pundits: someone who is often asked to give their opinion publicly
of a situation or subject

15)从一个风行的错误观念早先——中国可以使美利坚合作国政坛未果。在过去十年中,中国在United States投资超越1万亿法郎。在高峰期,美利坚合营国欠中国的钱比它欠任何别的国家都多。专家担心,中国倾销美利坚合作国国债,米国的利率会大涨,美金下落。

  1. But that is to misunderstand the financial mechanics. The Federal
    Reserve has demonstrated that it can buy far more government bonds
    than any foreign or domestic holder can sell. China thus cannot
    dictate interest rates in America, much less push it into
    penury. And the volatility of the dollar is also a Chinese
    concern. Because Chinese companies borrowed heavily abroad, dollar
    strength has made their debts more costly in yuan terms.

16)但那是误解了财务机制。美国联邦储备系统已经注明,它可以买下远远超越任何国外或国内持有人可以贩卖的政坛债券。因而,中国不可以控制United States的利率,更不用说把它促进赤贫。而英镑的骚动也是中华的担忧。由于中国公司在外国多量筹资,法郎走强使人民币的债务价格更高。

  1. Financial exposure goes the other way, too. Back in 2015 the Fed was
    planning to embark on a series of interest-rate increases. In
    the end it managed to deliver its second rise only at the very end
    of 2016. Jitters over China’s economy had stayed its hand.
    American investors have learned that news out of China can wreak
    on their portfolios. Anxiety about China has triggered
    two of the three most recent “risk-off” episodes in global
    markets, as captured by the VIX, a measure of stockmarket
    volatility, popularly known as the “fear gauge”. This is the crucial
    point: it is not that China has the financial upper hand over
    America, or vice versa; it is that they are increasingly joined at
    the hip

Jitters: a nervous, worried feeling, especially before an
important event
stay sb’s hand: literary to stop someone from doing something
** joined at the hip**: closely connected; always together


Mutually assured destruction

  1. And these are just the financial linkages, which remain limited by
    China’s capital controls. Look at the physical investment ties
    between China and America and the mutual vulnerabilities are even
    more glaring. According to official data, roughly 1% of the
    stock of American direct investment abroad (money spent on assets
    such as factories, warehouses and shops) is in China. But this
    misses much of the cash routed through the Cayman Islands or
    Hong Kong for accounting reasons. An analysis last year by the
    Rhodium Group, an American research firm, took a granular
    approach to calculate that the true stock of American foreign direct
    investment (FDI) in China built up from 1990 to 2015 was $228bn,
    three times the official figure.
    18)这个只是金融联系,那么些关系照旧面临中国的花费管理的限定。看看中国和美利坚联邦合众国之间的实际投资涉及,互相的脆弱性甚至更为明显。据官方数据彰显,美利坚合众国在国外直接入股存量(用于工厂,仓库和集团等花费的本钱)约1%在神州。但以此数据未包蕴出于会计原因通过开曼群岛或香港(Hong Kong)流入(中国)的大部现金。United States研究集团Rhodium

  2. American companies initially lighted on China as a cheap
    manufacturing base; as costs there have risen, that wave of
    investment has tailed off. A new influx seeks to tap China’s
    consumer demand. In 2016 China was the leading emerging market into
    which American firms poured FDI. China’s booming middle class is
    forecast by McKinsey, a consultancy, to grow from just 6% of urban
    households in 2010 to over half of the total by 2020.

** light on / upon sth**: (literary) to see or find sth by
tailed off: When something tails off, it gradually becomes less in
amount or value, often before coming to an end completely.

二零一六年,中国是United States商店对外直接入股的主要新兴市场。麦肯锡咨询集团预测,中国蓬勃发展的中产阶级将从二零一零年占城镇家家仅6%增高到2020年的一半之上。

  1. For firms that have made it in China, the rewards have been
    immense. Through joint ventures with local partners, GM sells more
    cars, and makes more profits, in China than it does anywhere in the
    world. Over the next two decades, Boeing estimates, China will buy
    6,000 new aeroplanes, becoming its first trillion-dollarmarket.
    Starbucks is opening new cafés in China at a pace of over one a day.
    On official estimates, some 1.6m people in China now work for
    American subsidiaries.

make it: succeed in a big way; get to the top


  1. But success stories of American companies in China will not exactly
    warm the hearts of Mr Trump’s band of economic nationalists.
    What they want is money invested in America, not more profits made
    abroad. Forget for a moment that this policy risks doing more harm
    than good (preventing Apple or GM from going big in China would hurt
    them financially). The more relevant point—the one likelier to
    sway Mr Trump—is that the bigger investment flows these days are
    from China into America.

21)可是,美利坚合众国公司在炎黄的打响传说并不会令特朗普的那帮经济民族主义者深感欣喜。他们想要的是钱被投资于美利坚合众国,而不是在国外赚更多的赢利。先不管这一策略有或许弊大于利(阻止苹果或通用小车在中华前行将风险它们的经济便宜)。更相关的某些,也更可能改变特朗普先生的某些是,近年来中华对美利坚合作国的投资要媲United States对中国的投资越来越多。

  1. Chinese investment into America used to be tiny. No longer (see
    chart 4). Rhodium estimates that it leapt from about $16bn in 2015
    to some $46bn in 2016, compared with $13bn invested by American
    firms in China. Chinese investments are already thought to support
    roughly 90,000 American jobs across several dozen states. The money
    is spread across virtually every area of the economy. Chinese
    companies have bought Hollywood production companies, car-parts- and
    appliance-makers, semiconductor firms and more.


图片 5


  1. China is well aware that its investors can also convey a positive
    message. Witness Jack Ma’s meeting with Mr Trump, just before his
    inauguration. Mr Ma, founder of Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant,
    boasted that his shopping portal would create 1m jobs in America,
    giving small businesses and farmers a platform to export to Asia.
    The promise was far-fetched (Mr Trump might appreciate that).
    But there was a kernel of truth: Chinese investors are only getting
    started in America.


  1. Were it just a question of money, these investment trends ought to
    be the clincher, giving America and China every reason to stay
    on each other’s good side. But investment cannot be divorced from
    power, and that poses complications. Most obvious are
    national-security concerns. Both China and America have become more
    active in restricting each other’s technology and blocking deals
    that they fear might compromise their security.

clincher: a fact, action, or remark that finally persuades someone
to do something, or that ends an argument, discussion, or competition


  1. But commercial competition casts an even bigger shadow. China and
    America are increasingly butting heads. “Made in China 2025”, an
    industrial plan unveiled in 2015, is indicative of how China is
    gunning for industries that America and other foreign countries
    have dominated. China aims to become a leader in ten strategic
    sectors, ranging from next-generation IT to agricultural machinery.


  1. Critics in America warn that China’s state-driven model for
    advancing in these industries will cause damage around the world.
    Their worry is that China will deploy much the same industrial
    policy that it has used in sectors from wind power to high-speed
    rail: pressure on foreign firms to share technology; protection of
    local firms; targets to phase out imports; and generous state
    funding. “This could lead not only to China taking over market share
    but, because of its scale, destroying entire business models,” says
    Scott Kennedy of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies,
    a think-tank in Washington, DC.


Another casus belli

  1. How America might respond to this perceived threat remains hazy. A
    committee recommended to Congress last year a ban on all investment
    in America by China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs)—a measure as
    likely to lead to a full-blown trade war as Mr Trump’s 45%
    tariff wall. A recent review of the semiconductor industry called
    for a stiffer response to China’s market distortions. Others argue
    that fears of “Made in China 2025” are overblown. Government
    interventions may work in industries such as solar power and
    railways, which are dominated by subsidies and public-sector
    procurement. But they have already been seen to fail in consumer
    industries such as carmaking.

full-blown: Having or displaying all the characteristics necessary
for completeness

27)美国哪些作答那种已发现到的胁迫依旧不知晓。一个委员会二零一八年向国会指出提出,禁止中国民企(SOEs)对United States的享有投资——那只怕和特朗普的45%关税壁垒一样会抓住全面贸易战。最近一份对半导体行业的追思报告务求对华夏扭曲市场的行为作出更强大的回复。其余人则以为对“2025年中国营造”的担心是过于夸大的。政坛干预措施大概在诸如太阳能发电和铁路等行业中起成效,那个行业以补贴和公共部门采购为主。但当局干预已经在小车创立等开销行业有过挫折的伊始。

  1. China’s government has tried to rebut critics of its industrial
    plan. The point, it says, is merely to give companies guidance about
    future trends. Meanwhile, Chinese firms, for their part, fear that
    obstacles in America are proliferating. He Fan, a prominent Chinese
    economist, says the feeling is that business in America is becoming
    more politicised. “You can only have long-term investment when the
    rules are clear,” he says. “Previously that was America’s strong
    point. Now it’s uncertain.”

  2. Easily lost amid the blaze of recriminations is the extent to
    which competition between China and America can also yield benefits.
    The two countries are already spurring each other to innovate.
    American venture capitalists are well embedded in the software
    cluster in Beijing and the hardware ecosystem in Shenzhen, a city in
    southern China. American private-equity firms are prominent in
    China, making bets on industries ranging from health care to energy.
    American multinationals used to build shiny R&D centres in Shanghai
    and Beijing to please officials, but did little original work in
    them. Now, firms ranging from industrial conglomerates like GE to
    biotech giants such as Amgen are doing some of their cutting-edge
    research in China.
    29)在一片指责声中不难忽略的是,中国和米国两国竞争也足以推动一定的便宜。两国已经相互刺激立异了。花旗国的高危害资本家长远了首都的软件产业集群和华南地区城市尼科西亚的硬件生态系统。United States私募股权投资公司在神州市场表现非凡,投资于保健、能源等行业。美利哥外企已经在香港和新加坡市白手起家光鲜的研发宗旨,来取悦政坛领导,但在里边并没有啥原创性的做事。今后,从GE等工业公司到比如安进那样的生物技术巨头等商家正在中国拓展部分战线的切磋。

  3. China’s most inventive firms are also investing heavily in America
    in search of talent and new patents. Just this week, Tencent, a tech
    giant, said it was spending $1.8bn to buy 5% of Tesla, a maker of
    electric cars. Huawei, Alibaba and Baidu are its near-neighbours in
    Silicon Valley. BGI, the world’s biggest genome-sequencing firm, is
    opening a laboratory in Seattle to be closer to the Gates
    foundation, a big client. Mindray, a medical-devices firm, has a
    couple of American R&D labs. Lenovo, the world’s biggest maker of
    personal computers, is inventing and manufacturing B2B products in
    North Carolina.

  4. One possibility is that, as these kinds of cross-border business
    operations become more widespread, the Chinese-American economic
    relationship will settle down. Competition will be welcomed as
    healthy, not feared as destructive. But it is likely to be a long
    time before that happens. It would help if the governments could
    see eye to eye—in particular, if they could agree on a
    long-stalled bilateral investment treaty; and if they could reach an
    understanding on trade before their disagreements threaten the WTO

see eye to eye: If you see eye to eye with someone, you agree with
them and have the same opinions and views.


  1. Both outcomes, however, are highly unlikely. The diplomacy needed to
    navigate the shoals of their economic ties is in short supply.
    China’s success in low-end manufacturing has already caused a
    backlash in America. As Chinese firms take on companies at the
    heart of the American economy, the friction will surely increase. It
    is enough to make one nostalgic for the days when their business
    involved little more than swapping silver for silk.




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