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美国该如何应对中国产业新政?
The Dr Seuss theory of China industrial policy

来源:FT中文网    2017-10-11 06:15



        US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross emerged last month from a visit to Beijing with a warning about China’s goals to develop robotics and other high-tech sectors, a surprising new tack given the Trump administration’s previous focus on jobs in traditional industries such as steel.        不久前,美国商务部长威尔伯•罗斯(Wilbur Ross)在访问北京后就中国发展机器人和其他高科技行业的目标发出了警告,考虑到特朗普政府此前关注是钢铁等传统行业的工作机会,这是一个让人意外的新方向。
        Are robots in Chinese factories about to threaten US robots’ jobs by working for lower wages? No, and even if they did, that’s not what concerns the White House. During his weekend in Beijing, Mr Ross had an earful from American business about a Chinese plan to create a range of cutting edge industries, called Made in China 2025.          中国工厂里的机器人是否会以更低的薪资威胁到美国机器人的工作机会?不会,就算会,白宫担心的也不是这个问题。在北京的那个周末,罗斯听取了美国企业对中国打造一系列先进产业的计划的大量简报。这个计划名为“中国制造2025”。
        Made in China 2025 is a top-down industrial policy that in its benign form unlocks loans and approvals for companies that meet Beijing’s goals to create internationally competitive industries at home. More troubling for the foreign companies complaining to Mr Ross, the favoured short-cut to “indigenous” high tech is not to develop and commercialise it but to pressure investors in China to hand over rights to the tech they’ve developed, in return for maintaining their market access in China.        中国制造2025是一个自上而下的产业政策,北京方面的目标是打造具有国际竞争力的本土产业。从良性的方向说,该政策为那些顺应国家目标的公司放开贷款和审批。但对那些向罗斯诉苦的外国企业而言,更令人不安的是,迈向“自主”高新技术的受青睐的捷径不是开发和商业化利用这类技术,而是迫使来华投资者交出它们开发的科技的相关权利,作为保持中国市场准入的交换条件。
        But the unique combination of top-down planning with Beijing’s financial might makes schemes such as Made in China 2025 globally damaging to the industries it targets for reasons other than forced technology transfer. Take any product — let’s call it a sneed, after the useless knitted thing made by the greedy Once-ler in The Lorax, Dr Seuss’s environmental manifesto in rhyme.        但这种自上而下的规划与中国雄厚财力的独特组合,使“中国制造2025”这样的计划对其瞄准的行业具有全球破坏力,而原因并不是强迫技术转移。以任何产品为例——让我们借用苏斯博士(Dr Seuss)的环保故事《老雷斯的故事》(The Lorax)中贪婪的万斯勒(Once-ler)生产的毫无用处的织物Thneed之名,称其为sneed。
        In a nutshell, Chinese industrial policy works like this: the state identifies sneeds as a priority industry. Everyone and their nephew builds factories making sneeds because they know that puts them on the fast lane to bureaucratic approvals. Even better, they get easy loans because banks and private equity investors know sneeds are a favoured industry (and also, because Chinese banks hope the new money will allow the borrower to pay down outstanding debts built up making whatever was flavour of the month in the last round of policy incentives).        简而言之,中国的产业政策是这样起作用的:国家把sneed列为重点产业。每个人和他们的亲戚开始建造sneed生产厂,因为他们知道这会让他们走上获得官僚体制批准的快车道。更妙的是,他们能够轻松获得贷款,因为银行和私人股本投资者知道sneed是受到青睐的行业(此外,还因为中国的银行希望,新贷款能够让借款者偿还其在生产上一轮政策刺激的受青睐产品期间累积的未偿还账务)。
        Pretty soon, just as in The Lorax, all the “brothers and uncles and aunts” are making sneeds too. They import new vehicles and equipment, sending prices through the roof. Foreign suppliers of the raw materials, the machines and components to make sneeds are overjoyed, and take out loans in their own countries to expand to meet China's amazing demand. It’s a bubble, basically, but like the Once-ler, who doesn’t realise he’s destroying his own business until the last Truffula tree is cut, neither the companies nor the investors caught in this profitable frenzy see it that way.        就像《老雷斯的故事》里的一样,很快,所有的“兄弟、叔叔和阿姨”也开始生产sneed。他们进口了新车辆和设备,推动产品价格飙升。生产sneed所需的原材料、机器和零部件的外国供应商欣喜若狂,他们在本国申请贷款用于扩张,以满足中国令人惊讶的旺盛需求。本质上,这是泡沫,但就像故事中的万斯勒那样,卷入这场有利可图的狂潮的企业和投资者不这么看。在《老雷斯的故事》中,在最后一颗毛毛树(Truffula,故事中的一个树种,其树叶用于编织Thneed——译者注)被砍倒之前,万斯勒没有意识到他正在摧毁自己的生意。
        The first stage of this cycle benefits foreign businesses, a lot. Italian weaving loom manufacturers, Australian miners, US grain farmers and high-tech multinationals all benefit. Trade wonks even reason that the move “up the value chain” is an opportunity to balance the trade deficit and compensate for all the one-way shipments enabled by China’s massive manufacturing competitiveness.        这个周期的第一阶段极大地有利于外国企业。意大利织布机生产商,澳大利亚矿商、美国粮农和高科技跨国公司都是受益者。贸易学究们甚至断定,向“价值链上游”进军是一个平衡贸易逆差的机会,能够弥补中国强大的制造业竞争力带来的单向出口。
        Then, disaster hits. Everyone's factory is complete at more or less the same time, supply vastly exceeds market demand, and the companies all start exporting just to break even. Margins in the global sneed industry collapse and the international manufacturers of both sneeds and sneed looms scream bloody murder as their order books tumble. Tariff barriers go up in developed markets. One particularly unfortunate private Chinese manufacturer of sneeds goes bankrupt, leaving a huge crater on his city’s bank balance sheets. His demise provides ammunition to every other sneed maker in China to lobby Beijing for help.        随后灾难来临了。所有人的工厂基本上同时完工,供应极大地超过市场需求,企业全都开始出口以实现收支平衡。全球sneed行业的利润率大幅下降,sneed和sneed织布机的国际厂商订单骤降,它们纷纷呼救。发达市场竖起了关税壁垒。一家特别倒霉的中国民营制造商破产了,导致其所在城市的银行的资产负债表出现巨大亏空。他的破产为中国其他所有sneed生产企业提供了理由,让他们向北京方面求助。
        Beijing might respond with subsidies so that Chinese consumers buy sneeds, or they might make it more difficult for foreign-made sneeds to enter the market by placing sneeds on the domestic purchasing catalogues for state-owned enterprises and government bureaus. Nonetheless, the sneed glut persists.        北京方面可能提供补贴,从而让中国消费者能够购买sneed,或者将sneed列入国有企业和政府部门的采购目录,从而让外国生产的sneed更难进入国内市场。然而,sneed仍然供过于求。
        Luckily, it turns out that sneed marketing forms an integral part of the "One Belt, One Road" policy and Chinese banks are informed they can lift lending restrictions on over-capacity industries in order to provide policy loans to other countries to buy sneeds. Baffled international manufacturers of sneeds suddenly see their third country markets disappear too.         幸运的是,最终sneed的营销成为“一带一路”政策的有机组成部分,中国的银行被告知,可以对产能过剩行业解除放贷限制,以便为其他国家购买sneed提供政策贷款。困惑的sneed国际制造商突然发现,它们的第三国市场也消失了。
        Rinse, repeat for the next target industry.          漂洗一下,然后对下一个目标行业重复这一战略。
        Similar dynamics have engulfed the solar panel industry (with the twist that the initial impetus was a plan for Chinese manufacturers to profit by European subsidies), medium and high-value steel, aluminium products, semiconductors, home appliances, hydropower engineering — the list goes on.        同样的格局出现在太阳能电池板行业(比较复杂的是,该行业最初的动力是让中国制造商获利于欧洲补贴的计划)、中高价值钢材、铝制品、半导体、家电以及水电工程等等。
        China’s huge market has so far absorbed the immense automotive and nuclear power components manufacturing capacity that has been built up, but it won’t for long. Meanwhile, Beijing is trying to tempt foreign automakers to lend a hand in creating the next pillar industry: electronic vehicles.        中国庞大的市场迄今吸收了汽车和核电部件行业近年累积的巨大产能,但这不会持久。与此同时,北京方面正努力吸引外国汽车制造商帮助创建下一个支柱产业:电动汽车。
        The Obama administration was attempting to tackle this problem at the root with its structural challenges to Chinese subsidies at the WTO. However, that effort was too slow and too subtle to make a good headline that showed that they were "doing something" about Chinese overcapacity.         奥巴马政府曾试图从根本上解决这个问题,在世界贸易组织(WTO)对中国补贴发起结构性挑战。然而,该努力过于迟缓和不易察觉,无法成为很好的头条新闻,表明他们正在对中国的过剩产能“采取对策”。
        The Trump administration disliked the Obama administration’s approach, so it is trying unilateral trade actions one category of goods at a time. But Mr Ross’s comments in Hong Kong imply that he realises there are larger structural dynamics at work.        特朗普政府不喜欢奥巴马政府的做法,因此它尝试逐一对某类商品采取单边贸易举措。但罗斯在香港发表的言论表明,他意识到有更大的结构性因素在起作用。
        Mr Ross knows from personal experience how this cycle works, because he invested in the US and Chinese textile and steel industries. Now China accounts for about half the world’s steel capacity, with exports likely to continue increasing for the foreseeable future.        罗斯从个人经历知道这种周期是如何演变的,因为他曾投资于美国和中国的纺织和钢铁行业。现在,中国占到全球钢铁产能的一半左右,出口很可能在可以预见的未来继续增长。
        So does Washington have a new plan for dealing with industrial policies like Made in China 2025? If you give Mr Ross 15 cents, a nail, and the shell of a great-great-great grandfather snail, he might tell you.        因此华盛顿有应对“中国制造2025”等产业政策的新计划吗?如果你给罗斯15美分、一枚钉子以及一个很老很老的蜗牛壳,他可能会告诉你答案。
                
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