Trade Friction between major Global Economic Powers is increasing as Global Imbalances are increasingly unstable.Trade Surplus Countries like Japan,China and Germany have continued their mercantile export models from the pre Lehman days after a brief hiccup in 2009.USA is running massive trade deficits to the tune of $500 Billion a Year.The Yuan is undervalued and despite increasing pressure,China is unwilling to change the status quo except for some cosmetic changes.Japan has intervened in the Forex Markets for the first time in 6 years.Singapore and Brazil are also intervening by Buying Dollars to keep their currencies undervalued.USA is clearly not in any position to become the Consumer of Last Resort.Currency and Trade Wars are but inevitable as no easy compromises exist.USA has become increasingly protectionist in recent months as Uemployment and Deficit Pressures become overwhelming.
US Files Two Cases against China at WTO,Congress passes Two Protectionist Bills
USA is increasing its protectionist actions recently filing 2 cases in World Trade Organisation against China over Electrical Steel and Credit Card payment providers.Only last week a US Union had filed a complaint with the US government about the Predatory Practices of Chinese Green Companies.USA thinks that China has unfairly put duties on US made Steel and it is locking out Mastercard and Visa from the credit card processing market in China.There is little doubt that China indulges in favoritism and implicit and explicit support of domestic companies.However it the scale that is the only difference .Like all other things China also implements its policies king size.MNCs in recent times like GE,Google,Siemens have all criticized Chinse discrimination against foreign companies.However WTO remains an ineffective body to resolve complex Trades Disputes.The US Congress is also getting into the China-Bashing Act by passing 2 bills that mandate “Buy American” clauses.The US has already antagonized the Indian IT Industry by specifically targeting the Indian companies like Infosys and Wipro.These new bills target China making it mandatory for government departments to buy American made goods.With November Elections fast approaching,politicians are outdoing each other in protectionist rhetoric.
The United States asked the World Trade Organization to investigate China’s allegedly unfair treatment of US steel and electronic payment providers, the first step toward sanctions.US authorities said China slaps unfair duties on US electrical steel and has not opened up its market in electronic payments.Beijing claims that US steel had been dumped onto the Chinese market and is subsidized.
Passed on Wednesday, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur’s Made in America Act mandates Congress to purchase only US-made goods and services, while Larry Kissell’s Berry Amendment Extension Act directs the Department of Homeland Security and all of its agencies to purchase clothing and other products exclusively made in America on a permanent basis.
“In passing these bills, we reaffirm that when we make it in America, we create jobs, promote our competitiveness and lead the world economy,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
“Democrats will continue to move our nation forward to prosperity for the middle class. Democrats are committed to ‘Making it in America,’ while Republicans are standing with corporations that that ship American jobs overseas,” she said.