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国际贸易停止增长,发达国家背弃全球化?

更新时间:2016-11-1 9:45:48 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Little-Noticed Fact About Trade: It’s No Longer Rising
国际贸易停止增长,发达国家背弃全球化?

The constant flow of goods from Asia to the United States was briefly interrupted last month after Hanjin, the South Korean shipping line, filed for bankruptcy, stranding several dozen of its cargo ships on the high seas.

韩国海运公司韩进上个月申请破产之后,曾导致公司的数十艘货轮困在公海上,使得从亚洲接连不断地运往美国的货物流一度中断。

It was a moment that made literal the stagnation of globalization.

那个时刻是全球化停滞不前的字面意义上的体现。

The growth of trade among nations is among the most consequential and controversial economic developments of recent decades. Yet despite the noisy debates, which have reached new heights during this presidential campaign, it is a little-noticed fact that trade is no longer rising. The volume of global trade was flat in the first quarter of 2016, then fell by 0.8 percent in the second quarter, according to statisticians in the Netherlands, which happens to keep the best data.

国与国之间的贸易增长是近几十年来最重要、也最有争议的经济发展形式。然而,尽管有关的辩论十分激烈,并在这次美国总统竞选期间达到了新的高度,但人们不太注意的一个事实是,贸易已不再上升。据掌握着最好数据的荷兰统计学家,全球贸易量在2016年第一季度持平,而后在第二季度下降0.8%。

The United States is no exception to the broader trend. The total value of American imports and exports fell by more than $200 billion last year. Through the first nine months of 2016, trade fell by an additional $470 billion.

美国的情况也不例外。美国去年的进出口总值下降了2000多亿美元。在2016年头9个月里,贸易额再次下降了4700亿美元。

It is the first time since World War II that trade with other nations has declined during a period of economic growth.

这是第二次世界大战以来美国与其它国家的贸易首次在经济增长期间出现下降。

Sluggish global economic growth is both a cause and a result of the slowdown. In better times, prosperity increased trade and trade increased prosperity. Now the wheel is turning in the opposite direction. Reduced consumption and investment are dragging on trade, which is slowing growth.

全球经济增长放缓是贸易减少的原因和结果。在经济看好时,繁荣增加贸易,贸易促进繁荣。目前的情况正相反。消费和投资的减少拖累了贸易,继而导致经济增长放缓。

But there are also signs that the slowdown is becoming structural. Developed nations appear to be backing away from globalization.

但也有迹象表明,贸易减少也有结构性的原因。发达国家似乎在背弃全球化进程。

The World Trade Organization’s most recent round of global trade talks ended in failure last year. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, an attempt to forge a regional agreement among Pacific Rim nations, also is foundering. It is opposed by both major-party American presidential candidates. Meanwhile, new barriers are rising. Britain is leaving the European Union. The World Trade Organization said in July that its members had put in place more than 2,100 new restrictions on trade since 2008.

世界贸易组织最近一轮全球贸易谈判去年以失败告终。太平洋沿岸国家试图建立的跨太平洋伙伴关系区域贸易协议也在走向破产。美国两大党的总统候选人都反对这个协议。同时,新的贸易障碍在增加。英国正在离开欧盟。世界贸易组织今年7月表示,其成员国自从2008年以来共实施了2100多项新的贸易限制措施。

“Curbing free trade would be stalling an engine that has brought unprecedented welfare gains around the world over many decades,” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, wrote in a recent call for nations to renew their commitment to trade.

国际货币基金组织总裁克里斯蒂娜·拉加德(Christine Lagarde)最近在一篇文章中呼吁各国重新开启贸易承诺,她写道:“抑制自由贸易将会导致在过去数十年给世界带来前所未有的福祉的引擎熄灭。”

Against the tide, the European Union and Canada signed a new trade deal on Sunday.

反潮流而行之,欧盟与加拿大于周日签署了一项新的贸易协议。

It may be hard, however, to muster public enthusiasm in the United States and other developed nations. The benefits of globalization have accrued disproportionately to the wealthy, while the costs have fallen on displaced workers, and governments have failed to ease their pain.

但是,激发美国和其他发达国家的公众对贸易的热情可能很难。全球化的好处已不成比例地让富人变得更富,全球化的代价却落在了失业的工人身上,政府则未能缓解他们的痛苦。

The Walmart revolution is over. During the 1990s, global trade grew more than twice as fast as the global economy. Europe united. China became a factory town. Tariffs came down. Transportation costs plummeted. It was the Walmart Era.

“沃尔玛革命”结束了。在20世纪90年代,全球贸易的增长速度是全球经济增长速度的两倍以上。欧洲联合起来了。中国成了世界工厂。关税下降了。运输成本大幅下降了。那曾是沃尔玛时代。

But those changes have played out. Europe is fraying around the edges; low tariffs and transportation costs cannot get much lower. And China’s role in the global economy is changing. The country is making more of what it consumes, and consuming more of what it makes. In addition, China’s maturing industrial sector increasingly makes its own parts. The International Monetary Fund reported last year that the share of imported components in products “Made in China” has fallen to 35 percent from 60 percent in the 1990s.

但是,这些变化的后果已经出现。欧洲正在分崩离析;低关税和低运输成本不能再往下降多少。中国在全球经济中的作用正在改变。中国正在为国内消费制造更多的东西,也在消费更多本国制造的东西。另外,中国日益成熟的工业也在越来越多地生产自己的零部件。国际货币基金组织(简称IMF)在去年的一份报告中说,“中国制造”的产品中使用的进口零部件份额已从1990年代的60%下降到35%。

The result: The I.M.F. study calculated that a 1 percent increase in global growth increased trade volumes by 2.5 percent in the 1990s, while in recent years, the same growth has increased trade by just 0.7 percent.

IMF的研究计算出来的结果是,在20世纪90年代,全球经济每增长1%能为贸易带来2.5%的增长,而近年来,同样经济增长只能带来0.7%的贸易增长。

Hanjin, like other big shipping companies, bet that global trade would continue to expand rapidly. In 2009, the world’s cargo lines had enough room to carry 12.1 million of the standardized shipping containers that have played a crucial, if quiet, role in the rise of global trade. By last year, they had room for 19.9 million — much of it unneeded.

与其他大型海运公司一样,韩进把赌注下在全球贸易将继续快速增长上。2009年,世界上的货运公司有运送1210万件标准集装箱的充足能力,这些集装箱在全球贸易增长上起了至关重要的作用,虽然人们很少知道这点。截至去年,这些货运公司有运送1990万件集装箱的能力,但很大一部分都用不上。

India is not China redux. Most trade flows among developed nations. The McKinsey Global Institute calculates that 15 countries account for roughly 63 percent of the global traffic in goods and services, and for an even larger share of financial investment.

印度不是中国再现。大多数贸易是在发达国家之间进行的。据麦肯锡全球研究所计算,15个国家占全球货物和服务贸易的63%,它们在全球金融投资上占的份额更大。

China joined this club the old-fashioned way: It used factories to build a middle class. But the automation of factory work is making it harder for other nations to follow. Dani Rodrik, a Harvard economist, calculates that manufacturing employment in India and other developing nations has already peaked, a phenomenon he calls premature deindustrialization.

中国用老式的方法加入了这个俱乐部:中国用工厂养起来一个中产阶级。但是,制造业的自动化让其他国家走这条路变得更难。哈佛大学经济学家丹尼·罗德里克(Dani Rodrik)的计算表示,印度和其他发展中国家的制造业就业已经达到了顶峰,他称这种现象为“过早去工业化”。

The weakness of the global economy is exacerbating the trend. Infrastructure investment by multinational corporations declined for the third straight year in 2015, according to the United Nations. It predicts a further decline this year. But even if growth rebounds, automation reduces the incentives to invest in the low-labor-cost developing world, and it reduces the benefits of such investments for the residents of developing countries.

全球经济的疲软正在加剧这个趋势。据联合国的数据,跨国公司的基础设施投资在2015年连续第三年下降。联合国预计这种投资今年将进一步下降。但是,即使经济增长反弹,自动化也降低了对低劳动力成本的发展中国家进行投资的动力,从而减少这种投资为发展中国家居民带来的好处。

The political reaction is global, too. The economist Branko Milanovic published a chart in 2012 that is sometimes called the elephant chart, because there is a certain resemblance. It shows real incomes rose significantly for most of the world’s population between 1988 and 2008, but not for most residents of the United States and other developed countries.

政治的反弹也是全球性的。经济学家布兰科·米拉诺维奇(Branko Milanovic)曾在2012年发表过一条曲线,该曲线有时被称为“大象曲线”,因为两者有一定的相似性。该曲线显示,在1988年至2008年期间,世界上大多数人口的实际收入大幅上升,但美国和其他发达国家的大多数居民的收入没有上升。

The chart is often presented as a depiction of the consequences of globalization. The reality is more complicated, but perception is undeniable. Voters in developed nations increasingly view themselves as the victims of trade with the developing world — and a backlash is brewing.

这条曲线常被作为全球化后果的刻画。虽然现实更复杂,但这种看法不可否认。发达国家的选民们越来越认为自己是本国与发展中国家贸易的受害者,一种政治反弹正在形成。

Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign is an obvious manifestation, as is Hillary Clinton’s backing off from her support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. A study published in April found that voters in congressional districts hit hardest by job losses are more likely to reject moderate candidates, turning instead to candidates who take more extreme positions.

唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)的总统竞选就是这种反弹的一个明显表现,希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)也改变了自己对跨太平洋伙伴关系贸易协议的支持。今年4月发表的一项研究发现,失业率最高的国会选区选民不考虑中间派候选人的可能性更高,而是选择采取更极端立场的候选人。

Economic stagnation is turning European voters against trade, too.

经济停滞也让欧洲选民对贸易持反对态度。

Professor Rodrik said that proponents of free trade were guilty of overstating the benefits and understating the costs. “Because they failed to provide those distinctions and caveats, now trade gets tarred with all kinds of ills even when it’s not deserved,” he said. “If the demagogues and nativists making nonsensical claims about trade are getting a hearing, it is trade’s cheerleaders that deserve some of the blame.”

罗德里克教授说,自由贸易的支持者犯的错误是,夸大了贸易带来的好处,低估贸易的代价。“由于他们没有做出这些区别和警告,如今贸易与各种弊病被视为是一路货色,即使并不都罪有应得,”他说。“如果说蛊惑民心的政客和本土主义者对贸易发起无稽之谈的攻击很得人心的话,贸易的吹鼓手们对此负有一定的责任。”

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