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特朗普的贸易计划:更多壁垒

更新时间:2017-3-9 10:55:37 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Building Trade Walls
特朗普的贸易计划:更多壁垒

President Trump’s advisers and allies are pushing an ambitious idea: Remake American trade.

特朗普总统的顾问和盟友在推动一个颇具野心的想法:重塑美国贸易。

They are considering sweeping aside decades of policy and rethinking how the United States looks at trade with every country. Essentially, after years of criticizing much of Europe for the way they handle imports and exports, these officials want to copy them.

他们在考虑将延续几十年的政策弃之一旁,重新考虑美国如何看待与各个国家的贸易。在批评欧洲许多国家处理进出口问题的方式多年之后,这些官员其实也想采用这些办法。

This approach could result in higher barriers to imports that would end America’s decades-long status as the world’s most open large economy. This could lead to slightly higher prices in the United States for everything from Chilean grapes to iPhones to gasoline. But it could also provide a boost to companies and workers who make things in the United States and sell them abroad.

这一举措可能导致更高的进口壁垒,令美国失去占据了几十年的世界上最开放大经济体的地位。这也会导致美国所有商品的价格略微上涨,不管是智利葡萄、iPhone,还是石油,都不例外。但它也能给在美国生产、在海外销售产品的企业和工人提供助力。

Will it happen? Mr. Trump has hinted at the issue, saying to Congress last week that “other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes,” but “we charge them almost nothing.” The discussion, if translated into action, could affect national economies and regular households alike — and create big problems for countries depend heavily on exports to the United States.

这种情况会发生吗?特朗普在这个问题上做出了暗示。他上周对国会表示,“其他国家向我们征收高昂的关税和税收”,但“我们却几乎什么也不向他们收”。这项讨论如果转化为行动,可能会同时影响到国民经济和普通家庭——同时给严重依赖对美出口的国家造成大麻烦。

Putting Up Barriers

设置障碍

First, it helps to understand how the United States and other countries currently treat trade.

首先,它有助于理解美国和其他国家目前如何对待贸易问题。

The most visible layer is tariffs, or taxes on imports. The World Trade Organization, the global trade adjudicator, has allowed developing countries to impose far higher tariffs than industrialized countries, while they build up industries at home. China has been counted as a developing country.

最可见的层面是关税,或说进口税。全球贸易的裁判——世界贸易组织(World Trade Organization)允许发展中国家在国内发展自身产业的同时,征收比工业化国家高得多的关税。中国一直被看作一个发展中国家。

But many countries have additional taxes. For example, China and other countries, but not the United States, also charge a steep value-added tax, which is a kind of national sales tax on imports and home-produced goods alike. Exports are exempt from value-added taxes.

但许多国家还有附加的税。比如,中国和其他国家——但不包括美国——也征收过高的增值税,那是一种对进口产品和本国产品都征收的全国性营业税。出口产品则免收增值税。

Once value-added taxes and sales taxes are included in an international comparison, America’s taxes on imports are much lower than those of almost every other country.

一旦将增值税和营业税纳入一项国际比较,就会发现相比几乎所有的其他国家,美国的进口税要低得多。

Rethinking Trade

重塑贸易

Mr. Trump’s advisers and some lawmakers don’t like this arrangement.

特朗普的顾问和一些议员不喜欢这样的局面。

For starters, they question why China’s average tariffs are about three times as high as those in the United States — and its tariffs on manufactured goods, which involve a lot of jobs to produce them, are far higher still. Those levels are allowed because when China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, it was clearly a developing country. Lower American trade barriers have helped China increase exports to the United States, while importing fairly little.

首先,他们质疑为何中国的平均关税是美国的三倍之多——它对需要很多劳动力参与的制造业产品征收的关税也高得多。这样的高税额是被允许的,因为在2001年加入世贸组织时,中国显然是一个发展中国家。降低美国贸易壁垒促进了中国向美国的出口,但它从美国进口的产品却非常之少。

Today, China’s designation as a developing country is more debatable. China is the world’s second-largest economy and the biggest producer of steel and cars.

如今,将中国认定为发展中国家变得更具有争议性了。中国现在是世界第二大经济体,也是最大的钢铁和汽车生产国。

Still, China trails most developed nations by some measures, and Chinese officials argue that it is still developing and does not yet qualify as industrialized.

但是按照一些标准衡量,中国仍然落后于发达国家。中国官员坚称,它依然是发展中国家,还不够资格被称为工业化国家。

China’s economy is still roughly two-thirds the size of the American economy, even though China has four times as many people. Average incomes in China are still one-fifth to one-quarter of levels in the United States, and much of China’s interior is still underdeveloped.

尽管人口是美国的四倍,但中国的经济规模依然只有美国的三分之二。中国平均收入只有美国平均收入的五分之一至四分之一,而且中国内地大多数地方依然处于不发达状态。

“We still hold the developing countries’ standpoint,” said Li Gang, the deputy dean of the Commerce Ministry’s research unit, the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

“我们依然认为自己是发展中国家,”中国商务部下属的研究机构国际贸易经济合作研究院副院长李钢说。

When China joined the W.T.O. in 2001, the expectation was that its tariffs would later be adjusted lower during global trade talks, known as the Doha Round. But those talks fell apart for a variety of reasons.

中国在2001年加入世贸组织时,外界的期待是该国关税会在之后被称为多哈回合(Doha Round)的全球贸易谈判中调低。但这些谈判因为各种各样的原因破裂了。

How Tariffs Hit Industries

关税如何打击行业发展

While China’s average tariffs are higher, they vary widely by industry, and that has contributed to big industrial shifts.

尽管中国的平均关税更高,但各个行业的差别很大,这引发了重大的行业迁移。

Consider cars. China’s tariff on imported cars is 25 percent of the wholesale price, which is one reason General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen set up huge factories in China. By contrast, tariffs in the United States are just 2.5 percent for imported cars, minivans and sport utility vehicles. So automakers make in China almost all the cars that they sell there, while many cars in the United States are imported.

看看汽车领域。中国对进口汽车征收相当于批发价25%的关税,这是通用汽车(General Motors)、福特(Ford)和大众汽车(Volkswagen)在中国大建工厂的原因之一。相比之下,美国对进口汽车、小型货车和SUV征收的关税只有2.5%。所以汽车厂商在中国销售的汽车几乎都是在本地生产,而美国的许多汽车都是进口的。

To be sure, automakers have many reasons to build factories in China, including proximity to low-cost suppliers as well as to customers in a big new market.

当然,汽车厂商在中国建厂的理由还有很多,比如离低成本供应商和一个新兴大市场的消费者比较近。

Trade Redo

贸易重构

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers and Republicans in the House of Representatives want to replace America’s current taxes on corporate profits with a system that raises the costs of imports while helping exports.

特朗普的一些顾问和众议院的一些共和党人想废除美国对公司利润的现行税法,代之以提高进口成本、促进出口的制度。

Companies currently deduct practically all of their costs, including imports, from their sales revenue, and then pay taxes on the profits that are left. The new idea, sometimes called a border-adjusted tax, essentially involves ending the deductibility of imports so that they would be taxed. At the same time, profits on exports would no longer be taxed, and the overall tax rate would be cut. Big beneficiaries would be domestic factory owners and workers and big exporters like Boeing. But other countries might retaliate, and some Senate Republicans worry it could violate the rules of the W.T.O.

目前,公司扣除销售收入的几乎所有成本,包括进口成本,然后根据剩余的利润纳税。而这种有时被称为边境调整税的新想法主要涉及停止扣除进口成本,从而对进口货物征税。与此同时,将不再对出口利润征税,而且将降低整体税率。最大的受益者将是国内工厂所有者和工人以及大型出口公司,比如波音公司(Boeing)。但其他国家可能会报复,参议院的一些共和党人担心它可能违反世界贸易组织的规则。

A border-adjusted tax would “mean a trade war not only between China and the U.S. but across the whole world,” said Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice minister of commerce. “China is firmly against it.”

前中国商务部副部长魏建国表示,边境调整税“不仅意味着中美之间的贸易战,而且是全世界的贸易战”,“中国坚决反对”。

The idea nonetheless has support among House Republicans, in addition to some of Mr. Trump’s supporters, although the president himself has called it “too complicated.” It has also divided businesses, with big importers opposed.

但是,除了特朗普的一些支持者,这种想法还得到了众议院共和党人的支持,尽管总统本人说它“太复杂”。它也在企业中造成了分裂,遭到大型进口商的反对。

Rising Protectionism

不断增强的保护主义

Even before Mr. Trump took office, America’s taste for free trade was fading. While China protects many more of its industries than the United States does, China has also been moving faster to liberalize.

甚至在特朗普上台之前,美国对自由贸易的兴趣就在减退。虽然中国保护的行业比美国的多得多,但中国也在更快地走向自由化。

Global Trade Alert, a nonprofit based in Zurich that tracks and opposes protectionism, has documented 1,066 discriminatory American measures since the height of the global financial crisis in November 2008, including bailouts and subsidies for American companies, Buy America measures, tariff increases and other moves. Those are more measures than in any other country, although that may be partly because it is easier to document such measures in the United States, said Simon Evenett, the project’s leader. The American measures are also extremely narrow, affecting a small share of trade.

跟踪和反对保护主义的苏黎世非营利组织“全球贸易预警”(Global Trade Alert)记录了自2008年11月全球金融危机顶峰以来美国的1066项歧视性措施,包括对美国公司的救助和补贴、“买美国商品”举措,以及提高关税等措施。该项目领导人西蒙·伊文尼特(Simon Evenett)表示,美国的此类措施比其他任何国家都多,虽然这可能部分是因为记录美国的这些措施更为容易。美国这些措施的应用范围也非常狭窄,只影响到一小部分贸易。

Mr. Wei said that the United States was wrong to feel threatened by China and should embrace free trade. Like many Chinese officials, he sees the Trump administration as motivated to a considerable extent by a fear of the rise of China, and added that “we don’t want the U.S. to have imaginary enemies in geopolitics.”

魏建国称,美国感觉受到了中国威胁是错误的,它应该接受自由贸易。与许多中国官员一样,他认为特朗普政府在很大程度上是出于对中国崛起的恐惧。他还说,“我们不希望美国有地缘政治假想敌。”

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