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Europe Caught in the Middle as Trump Threatens China

来源:纽约时报    2018-04-10 02:49

        FRANKFURT — One is a good customer, a military ally and an old friend, although lately its behavior has been erratic.        法兰克福——一边是好客户、军事同盟、老朋友,虽然近来行为有些不太稳定。
        The other is also a good customer, and despite a few spats and some lingering mistrust, it’s getting to be a more lucrative and dependable business partner all the time.
        Which side would you choose?        你会选择哪一边?
        That more or less sums up the dilemma confronting Europe as it watches the escalating conflict between its two biggest trading partners, the United States and China.        这大体上总结了欧洲在美国和中国——它的两大贸易伙伴之间冲突不断升级之际,所面临的两难困境。
        The United States is Europe’s biggest market for exports like cars and other goods, not to mention a NATO ally. But China is big, too — and getting ever bigger.        美国是欧洲汽车和其他商品的最大出口市场,更别说还是北约(NATO)成员国。但中国市场也很大——而且越来越大。
        The Trump administration has also threatened the institutions that govern global relationships, calling NATO obsolete and stoking trade tensions. So China no longer automatically seems like the less reliable partner.        特朗普政府也曾威胁过那些支配着全球关系的机构组织,他称北约已经过时,并且引发贸易关系紧张。这样一来,中国便不再被自动视为两者中更不可靠的伙伴。
        European leaders were largely silent after President Trump threatened to impose another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. But watching from a safe distance as China and the United States argue is not an option for Europe. Its economy is too deeply entwined with both.        在特朗普威胁要对中国商品再征收1000亿美元的关税后,欧洲的领导人基本保持沉默。但欧洲并不能选择站在安全距离外遥看中美相争。欧洲的经济与两者皆密不可分。
        “What can they do in terms of staying out of the crossfire?” said Adam Slater, lead economist at Oxford Economics in Britain. “Not a lot.”        “想要置身于这次交火之外,他们能做什么?”英国牛津经济研究院(Oxford Economics)的首席经济学家亚当·斯莱特(Adam Slater)说。“没什么能做的。”
        Although Mr. Trump’s threats are aimed at China, Europe is certain to suffer collateral damage if the president follows through. A spiraling war of tariffs and counter-tariffs would interfere with the global flow of raw materials and components for manufactured goods, disrupting the European economy. And some European companies, like the German carmaker BMW, manufacture in the United States and export to China. Such companies would see their sales suffer if China were to slap tariffs on American goods.        尽管特朗普的威胁是针对中国,但如果总统将其付诸实践,欧洲无疑会遭受间接损害。不断升级的关税和反关税战将干扰工业品原材料和零部件的全球流通,破坏欧洲经济。而一些欧洲企业,如德国汽车制造商宝马(BMW),在美国生产,再出口到中国。如果中国对美国商品加征关税,那么这些公司的销售将受到影响。
        The mere threat of a trade war has already unsettled financial markets and made it more difficult for companies to raise money, Benoît Coeuré, a member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, said Friday. “None of this supports growth and employment,” Mr. Coeuré said at a conference in Cernobbio, Italy.        欧洲央行(European Central Bank)的执行委员会成员伯努瓦·克莱(Benoît Coeuré)周五表示,仅是贸易战的威胁就已经扰乱了金融市场,公司也更难筹集资金。“这些都不利于经济增长和就业,”克莱在意大利切尔诺比奥举行的一个会议上说。
        The disruption to world trade comes at an unfortunate time for Europe. Recent economic indicators suggest that the Continent’s recovery, after a decade of crisis, is losing momentum. Industrial production in Germany shrank 1.6 percent in February, according to official data published last week.        对欧洲来说,世界贸易的混乱来得不是时候。近期的经济指标显示,在十年的危机之后,欧洲大陆的复苏正在失去动力。根据上周公布的官方数据,德国2月份的工业生产萎缩了1.6%。
        But European leaders’ biggest fear may be that Mr. Trump’s belligerent approach to trade will destroy the postwar system for resolving conflicts, which involved getting all the parties together in one room. Mr. Trump has already succeeded in forcing countries to beg for individual exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs, bypassing the World Trade Organization, the usual forum for trade disputes.        但欧洲领导人最担心的,或许是特朗普寻衅好斗的贸易方式将摧毁战后需要各方齐聚一室的冲突解决机制。特朗普已经成功绕开了作为贸易争端的常规论坛世贸组织(World Trade Organization),迫使各国恳求钢铝关税的个别豁免。
        “He has created an environment to divide countries,” said André Sapir, a senior fellow at Bruegel, a research organization in Brussels. “Maybe we will remember that 2017 was the last year of the functioning of the multilateral system.”        “他创造了一种分化国家的环境,”布鲁塞尔研究机构布勒哲尔国际经济研究所(Bruegel)的高级研究员安德烈·萨皮尔(André Sapir)说。“也许我们会记住2017年是多边体系运转的最后一年。”
        It’s possible Europe might enjoy a few short-term benefits as China and the United States duke it out. If, for example, China were to raise tariffs on Boeing airliners, Boeing’s European rival, Airbus, could take advantage. But positive effects of that sort are not likely to outweigh the risks.        在中国和美国一决胜负之时,欧洲也有可能享受到一些短期利益。例如,如果中国提高了波音客机的关税,那么波音的欧洲竞争对手——空客(Airbus)便可以从中得利。但其积极影响恐怕并不会大于风险。
        European companies have invested far more in the United States over the years than they have in China. But increasingly, China is where the action is. Germany’s total trade with China, exports and imports together, is already bigger than it is with the United States. And China is the biggest single market for companies like Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker.        多年以来,欧洲企业在美国的投资远超于在中国的投资。但中国越来越成为交易发生之地。德国与中国的贸易总额,出口和进口加一起已经超过了它与美国的总量。中国也是欧洲最大汽车制造商大众汽车(Volkswagen)等公司最大的单一市场。
        China is also where more German companies are putting their money.        中国还是越来越多的德国企业进行投资的国家。
        In a poll published Thursday, 39 percent of German companies questioned said they planned to invest in China this year, up from 37 percent in 2017. The number that said they planned to invest in North America dropped to 35 percent, from 37 percent, according to a survey, by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry.        周四公布的民意调查结果显示,39%受访的德企表示计划今年在中国投资,2017年这一比例为37%。根据德国商会(Association of German Chambers of Commerce)的一项调查,计划在北美投资的德企比例从37%降到了35% 。
        Even so, Europe remains wary of China’s intentions. Though European leaders use tamer language, they share some of Mr. Trump’s concerns about unfair competition from Chinese companies that receive government subsidies. They worry that Chinese companies are stealing European technology, and accumulating too much economic power.        即便如此,欧洲仍然对中国的意图持警惕态度。虽然欧洲领导人使用克制的语言,但他们也和特朗普一样,担忧拿到政府补贴的中国公司的不公平竞争。他们还担心中国企业正在窃取欧洲的技术,积累过多的经济实力。
        In recent years, Chinese investors have snapped up European assets including Greek ports, German machinery companies and a 10 percent stake in the automaker Daimler. The Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” campaign, a plan to dominate cutting-edge industry, is a threat to German companies that supply precision machinery that the Chinese companies are not yet able to manufacture themselves.        近年来,中国投资者争先收购欧洲资产,其中包括希腊港口、德国的机械企业以及汽车制造商戴姆勒(Daimler)10%的股份。中国政府的《中国制造2025》计划旨在主导尖端产业,对那些提供中国企业目前还无法自行生产的精密机械的德国公司来说,该计划是一种威胁。
        Leaders in Brussels, Berlin and Paris have called for tighter scrutiny of Chinese acquisitions in Europe, though it is unclear how tough they will be.        布鲁塞尔、柏林和巴黎的领导人呼吁对中国在欧洲的并购交易进行更严格的审查,尽管目前还不清楚这种审查将有多么严格。
        At the same time, Europe and the United States have been through a lot together, most notably the Cold War. Both are multiparty democracies with free market economies, unlike China’s one-party autocracy. And European and American historical and cultural ties go back centuries.        与此同时,欧洲和美国拥有很多共同的经历,尤其是冷战。不同于中国的一党专制,两者都是拥有自由市场经济的多党民主国家。欧洲和美国的历史和文化关联可以追溯到几个世纪前。
        Still, a trade war could push Europe closer to China.        然而,贸易战可能会把欧洲推向中国。
        Europe’s most immediate preoccupation is to resolve its own trade disputes with Mr. Trump. Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner for trade, is negotiating with Wilbur Ross, the United States commerce secretary, about winning a permanent exemption from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. A temporary exemption to the tariffs expires May 1.        欧洲的当务之急是解决自己与特朗普的贸易争端。欧洲贸易专员塞西莉亚·马姆斯特罗姆(Cecilia Malmstrom)正在与美国商务部长威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)谈判,争取得到对进口钢铝关税的永久豁免。关税的临时豁免将于5月1日到期。
        Ms. Malmstrom and other European leaders have also made plain their unhappiness with what they see as Mr. Trump’s crusade to undermine the World Trade Organization as the arbiter of trade conflicts. They may see China as a potential ally in efforts to preserve the W.T.O., of which China is also a member.        马姆斯特罗姆和其他欧洲领导人也明确表达了对他们所认为的特朗普一项行动的不满,即他在破坏世界贸易组织(World Trade Organization,简称WTO)作为贸易冲突仲裁者的角色。他们可能会认为中国是在维护WTO努力上的一个潜在盟友,中国也是该组织的成员之一。
        “The E.U. believes that measures should always be taken within the World Trade Organization framework which provides numerous tools to effectively deal with trade differences,” a representative for the European Commission said in a statement.        “欧盟认为,应始终在世界贸易组织的框架内采取措施,它为有效处理贸易差异提供了多种工具,”欧盟委员会的一位代表在一份声明中表示。
        For the moment, there is little Europe can do but hope that Mr. Trump’s bluster is just a tactic to win concessions from China, and that no trade war will break out. There are few other good options.        目前,除了希望特朗普的威吓只是为了迫使中国让步的一种策略、贸易战并不会爆发之外,欧盟能做的不多。没有其他什么好的选择。
        Mr. Sapir of Bruegel argues that, longer term, Europe should push for reforms of the trade body to respond to American criticism that the organization is too slow moving, and has failed to curb unfair competition by China. Mr. Trump is unlikely to take much interest in fixing the global trade regime rather than ignoring it, Mr. Sapir said, but it’s still worth a try.        布勒哲尔国际经济研究所的萨皮尔认为,从长远来看,欧洲应该推动这个贸易组织进行改革,以回应美国的批评,即该组织行动过于缓慢,并且未能遏制中国的不公平竞争。萨皮尔说,除了忽视全球贸易制度之外,特朗普不太可能对修复它产生兴趣,但这仍值得一试。
        “That is the only structural solution,” Mr. Sapir said. “Otherwise, we will always be caught in between.”        “这是唯一的结构性解决方案,”萨皮尔说。“否则,我们将永远被夹在中间。”

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