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人民币不是打贸易战的武器
China Won’t Devalue the Yuan

来源:中国日报    2018-09-12 11:17

        The trade “war” between the United States and China continues to escalate. So far, the US has imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products, leading the Chinese to retaliate with matching tariff rate increases on $3 billion in US exports in the spring.        中美之间的贸易“战”在继续升级。到目前为止,美国已经对中国钢铝产品加征关税,这导致中国采取报复行动,在春季对美国30亿美元出口产品相应提高了关税。
        The total amount of trade now affected by large tariff rate increases both ways is $106 billion. The products covered includes a diverse list of items including soybeans, semiconductors, railway cars, almonds, and backpacks.        目前受双边高额关税影响的贸易总额为1060亿美元,涵盖的产品包括不同类目,如大豆、半导体、铁路车辆、杏仁和双肩背包。
        This disruption in trade flows has not led to a negotiated outcome yet, hence the US is planning to up the ante again by imposing 25% tariffs on another $200 billion in imported goods from China starting in September.        贸易上的这种对抗并没有让谈判有所成就,因此,美国打算再次提高赌注,从9月份开始对中国的另外2000亿美元进口商品征收25%的关税。
        So far, the focus of trade actions has been on increasing costs at the border for goods. But for China, keeping up reciprocal rate hikes is becoming a problem, since Chinese firms do not import as many products from the United States as China exports to the US        到目前为止,贸易行动的焦点一直是增加商品的进口成本。但对中国来说,保持等额同步加税正变得困难,因为中国企业从美国进口的产品不如中国出口到美国的产品多。
        The hope of the American administration is that the Chinese government will recognize the impossibility of matching tariff increases and return to the negotiating table in earnest to resolve the issues around US Section 301, including problems with intellectual property and forced technology transfer.        中国政府将意识到等额同步加征关税是不可能的,因此它将认真回到谈判桌前,解决美国301条款所涉及的问题,包括知识产权问题和强制技术转让。
        However, this rosy scenario may not materialize. Just because the Chinese cannot continue to match American actions on tariffs does not mean that China has no leverage it can exert.        然而,这一乐观场景可能根本无法成为现实。仅仅因为中国不能继续采取与美国同步的关税行动并不意味着它没有可用的杠杆。
        As David Baldwin pointed out in his 1985 book, Economic Statecraft, countries have a variety of options available in their economic toolkit. While the primary focus at the time was on the use of sanctions as a “weapon” short of armed conflict, he also highlighted other economic tools that could be used to achieve foreign policy outcomes.        正如大卫·鲍德温在他1985年的《经济治国术》一书中所指出的,各国的经济工具箱中有各式各样的选择。虽然当时的主要焦点是将制裁作为武装对抗以外的“武器”,但他强调国家也可以利用其他经济手段来实现外交政策目的。
        One tool is the use of monetary policy, including the adjustment of the value of a country’s currency.        其中一个手段就是使用货币政策,包括调整国家货币的价值。
        Currency adjustment is a blunt tool, rather than a surgical instrument. It affects the value of every item in the economy with every trading partner and is, consequently, not used as frequently as might be expected. But it can have utility in trade as a lower value currency will make exports cheaper. In a trade war, currency movements can offset tariff increases.        汇率调整并不是外科手术工具,它是一种钝器,影响着经济中与每个贸易伙伴往来的每一项商品的价值,因此不像人们期待的那样被频繁使用。但汇率在贸易中也可以有实用性,因为较低的汇率会让出口的产品更便宜。在贸易战中,汇率变动可以用来抵销关税的增加。
        Devaluing currency also drives up the cost of imports. Given the integration of Chinese firms into supply chains across Asia, a lower yuan is not automatically beneficial. Many of the products produced and assembled in China for the domestic market and for overseas consumers are created with raw materials and components sourced globally. A falling yuan can raise the prices for each of these items and may more than offset any cost savings in exports.        但货币贬值同时也提高了进口成本。鉴于中国企业在整个亚洲供应链的融入状况,人民币贬值不会自动产生收益。许多在中国为国内市场和海外消费者生产组装的产品,所使用的都是在全球范围采购的原材料和零部件,人民币贬值会提高这些商品的价格,抵销任何出口成本的削减。
        Despite the mixed effects of currency movements, recent US administrations have been concerned about China using yuan devaluation as a tool of economic statecraft. American law requires the US Treasury to report semi-annually on the macroeconomic and foreign exchange policies of major trading partners.        虽然汇率变动的效果不一而同,但近年美国政府一直担心中国把人民币贬值作为一种经济方略。按美国法律要求,美国财政部每半年要就主要贸易伙伴的宏观经济政策和汇率政策提交报告。
        During the presidential election campaign, Donald Trump promised to name China a currency manipulator. Such a designation would trigger a host of economic sanctions from the United States, yet, once elected, his administration declined to do so.        大选期间,唐纳德·特朗普承诺要将中国列为汇率操纵国,这种认定会引发美国的一系列经济制裁。但当选之后,他的政府却没有这么做。
        The launch of tariffs, though, also coincided with a fall in the value of the yuan, leaving many commentators wondering if the Chinese government had decided to explicitly intervene in the foreign exchange market to counter the damage from the trade war.        然而关税的推出恰好碰上人民币汇率下跌,许多评论人士因此怀疑中国政府是否已经明令干预外汇市场,以应对贸易战造成的损失。
        However, the fall of the currency can also be seen as a natural byproduct of the escalating trade war. The collateral damage from the US-China trade war is likely to be substantial. Hence, currency traders and ordinary business operations are putting the yuan under substantial pressure.        不过,货币贬值也可以被视为贸易战不断升级的天然副产品。随着全球经济进入未知水域——两个最大的国家对价值数千亿美元商品互征关税,而且近期还可能增加——它的附带破坏可能是巨大的。在这种情况下,外汇交易商和普通企业的运作都给人民币造成了不小的压力。
        In response, it appears that the Chinese government is now trying to stabilize the situation, rather than allow the currency to continue to depreciate. The People’s Bank of China has returned to a method of counter-cyclical operations, to try to keep the yuan relatively fixed.        作为回应,中国政府似乎正试图稳定局势,而不是让人民币继续贬值。中国人民银行已经恢复使用反周期操作法,尽量保持人民币的相对固定。
        Thus, while China’s government could certainly lower the value of the yuan to cope with an escalating trade conflict, it appears to have taken this option off the table for now.        所以,中国政府固然可以把人民币贬值作为经济工具来应对不断升级的贸易冲突,但目前看来它已经把这一选项排除出它的讨论范围。
        The removal of the yuan from policy options does not leave China bereft of ideas to counter American actions. While China cannot match dollar-for-dollar tariff increases beyond another $60 billion or so, it still has considerable power to disrupt trade in other ways.        将人民币排除在政策选项之外并不代表中国不再有反击美方行动的考虑。虽然除了另外约600亿美元商品,中国已经无法再对同等金额的商品加征关税,但在其他方面中国仍有相当大的能力干扰贸易。
        For example, China could focus attention on American service exports, which are substantial. Government officials in China might opt to closely scrutinize paperwork, licenses, permits, and so forth, of American operations in China. All US imports of goods into China might be subjected to additional safety or security checks that might take weeks to complete.        例如,中国可以把注意力集中于美国的服务出口,这相当可观。中国政府官员可能会格外注意美国在中国的文书、执照、许可证等业务。进口到中国的所有美国商品都有可能受到额外安全检查,而且也许需要数周之久。
        In short, China can retaliate, should it choose to do so, even without using the blunt tool of yuan recalibration.        总而言之,即使不考虑调整人民币汇率这种生硬的手段,中国仍然有很大的选择余地进行报复。
        Unfortunately for the global economy, the two sides do not seem to have a clear “off ramp” to resolve their dispute, opting instead to ramp up pressure in the hopes that the other side will concede. There are many options in the economic toolkit that might be used in the meantime, meaning this conflict is likely to continue for some time.        对全球经济来说不幸的是,双方似乎没有一个明确的出口来解决它们的争端,而是选择继续加大压力,以期对方的让步。在此期间,经济方略工具箱中还有许多选项可以使用,这意味着这场冲突可能要持续一段时间。
                
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