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美国对华贸易政策向何处去

Alan Wolff 2017年04月18日

如果说有哪一个问题能让美国政界全体达成共识,那就是美国确实应该解决中美之间的贸易与投资问题。

上个月,美国贸易代表处发布了一份报告,用20页的篇幅浓墨重彩地描述了中美贸易问题。其中,贸易秘密的窃取、山寨、知识产权保护不力、网络隐私问题、以打压美国产品为代价推广本国产品的产业政策、补贴问题、歧视性的产品标准、倾销过剩产能,以及限制购买美国服务的渠道等问题,都是美国政府在中美贸易上最关心的问题。

这份报告的出炉并不令人意外,因为中国的产业政策与规划不可避免地会影响到美国企业与工人,无论现在和以后都是如此,尤其是在中国认为具有战略意义的一些产业上,其中又以信息技术产业为代表。此外,能源效率与环境技术、生物科技、高端设备制造、新材料和非传统能源车辆等产业也是中美贸易交锋的焦点。

任何对中美贸易问题感兴趣的人,都应该阅读一下美国贸易代表处的这份洋洋洒洒的《中国履行世贸组织规定情况报告》,这也是美国连续第15年针对中国履行WTO义务情况发布报告了。该报告指出,美国已经针对中国提起了20次违反WTO规则的诉讼,比对任何其他WTO成员国都超出了一倍以上。

看到如此冗长的指责和抱怨,难怪在上周海湖庄园的“习特会”前,特朗普要针对贸易问题发表一份义正言辞的推文了。

虽然“习特会”并未宣布任何重大成果,不过中美领导人都对此次会面感到乐观,特朗普还表示,此次与习近平的会面取得了“重大进展”。

预计在接下来的100天里,中美之间会迅速启动一系列旨在缩减美国对华贸易赤字的谈判。我们现在尚不清楚这些谈判将解决哪些问题,但双方的建设性对话至少会推动美国最关心的部分议题取得进展。

美国谈判代表要做的第一件事,就是为中美双边对话设定优先议题。近年来,中国政府瞄准其产业政策目标制订了一系列措施和规划,这些措施也给中美贸易带来了一些问题,然而多年来的中美双边谈判只是在这些问题上取得了部分成果。在接下来的100天里,中美双方必须设定明确的目标和跟进路径。在中美贸易问题上,能够迅速得到解决的问题可能少之又少。美国要想在贸易谈判上取得成功,起码要明白它希望中方对哪些政策措施做出改变,并且要为此付出锲而不舍地努力,以推动这些改变的实现。

第二,美国要想方设法保持在亚洲的重要地位。近年来,中国通过成立亚洲基础设施投资银行等手段,在亚洲的基建领域非常活跃。与此同时,中国也在通过辐射多个层面的“一带一路”战略扩大其经济文化影响。另外,中国还通过由其主导的区域全面经济伙伴关系(RCEP)及其贸易优势,推动亚太地区建立自由贸易区。而美国在亚洲尚无明显的经济战略。

美国曾经通过泛太平洋伙伴关系(TPP),与亚太地区的11个国家和地区就经贸与投资问题达成过共识,但这已经是过去的事情了。随着美国退出TPP,作为亚太各国最重要的贸易伙伴的中国很可能将取而代之,成为亚洲贸易规则的制定者。尽管中国国家主席习近平曾在今年年初的达沃斯论坛上呼吁自由贸易,但中国现行的贸易政策与做法离真正的自由市场还有很大差距。

特朗普政府需要认真思考的是,美国如何才能与前TPP伙伴和有意加入TPP的其他国家重新建立互动,在自由市场的框架下勾勒出亚太经贸合作的新蓝图。只有如此,美国才有希望重塑对亚太经济的领导地位。

如果说有哪些做法是美国在对华贸易谈判中需要避免的,那就是不要因为想让中国在安全和外交政策事务上负起更多责任,就对中国操纵贸易的做法睁一只眼闭一只眼。从特朗普本周发布的推特上(“如果中国协助解决朝鲜问题,就能与美国签定更有利的贸易协定”)可以看出,这种可能是确实存在的。

贸易和朝核问题是不应该搅在一起的。中国之所以应该约束平壤,是因为朝鲜无核化也符合中国自身的安全需求。而美国拿自己的商业利益做交易是毫无道理的。如果美国的产品和服务在中国市场上有竞争力,那么它们应该受到中国的欢迎,而不是成为拉拢中国解决朝鲜问题的牺牲品。另外美国也不应毫无怨言地接受在中国的不当产业政策下生产并出口的大量产品,因为这不仅会损害美国的相关产业,也会导致美国大量工人的失业。

勿庸置疑,随着朝鲜持续研发能打到美国本土的远程弹道导弹以及核弹头,美国的国家安全及盟友的安全都受到了巨大威胁。但除了朝鲜问题之外,美国还有另一个生死攸关的重大国家利益,那就是要保持一个强大的工业基础。无论是现在还是未来,这样一个强大的工业基础都是保障美国国家安全的基石。将美国经济的命运交由另一个国家的产业政策来操控,这无论如何是不可接受的。(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

本文作者Alan Wolff是法律事务所Dentons LLP的高级法律顾问。在共和党和民主党执政期间,他都曾任美国政府的高级贸易谈判代表。

U.S. concerns include theft of trade secrets, counterfeiting, inadequate protection of intellectual property, online piracy, industrial policies that promote domestic goods at the expense of U.S. products, subsidies, discriminatory product standards, the dumping of excess capacity, and restricted access for American services, according to a report that the US Trade Representative released last month, which included a 20 page chapter detailing America’s trade problems with China.

The report is not surprising, since China’s industrial policy measures and plans adversely affect American companies and workers now and will do so in the future, especially for industries China considers strategic, especially in information technology, but also including energy efficient and environmental technologies, biotechnology, high-end equipment manufacturing, new materials, and non-traditional energy vehicles.

Anyone interested in America’s trade relations with China should also read the lengthy 15th annual USTR Report on China's Compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organization . It notes that the U.S. has brought 20 WTO cases against China — more than double the cases brought against any other WTO member country.

Given the litany of well-documented complaints, it was no surprise that President Trump tweeted a stern message last month before meeting China’s, Xi Jinping, at Mar-A-Lago on last week.

Although there was no substantive outcome announced from the meeting, both leaders were very positive about it, with Trump saying that “tremendous progress” has been made.

China and the US are expected to engage in a series of speeded-up talks on trade over the next 100 days aimed at reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China. It is unclear what those talks will address, but constructive engagement holds at least some potential for progress on issues of concern.

The first thing U.S. negotiators must do is set priorities for the bilateral talks. The Chinese government has announced numerous measures in pursuit of its industrial policy objectives. Years of bilateral discussions have yielded only partial results regarding the problems that its policies create for U.S. trade. Specific goals need to be set during the 100-day process, with clear paths forward for follow-up. There may be very few quick fixes. The only way that the United States can succeed in this effort is to be well-informed about the policies and measures it wants to see changed and to engage in an unflagging effort to obtain those changes.

Second, the U.S. has to find a way to remain relevant in Asia. China is very active in financing infrastructure in the region through its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); it is extending its economic and cultural influence through its multifaceted One Belt One Road initiative, a conceptual framework for reaching out from China over land and water to build infrastructure and strengthen trading relationships; and is seeking trade advantages through its leadership in a 16-nation negotiation for a free trade area, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The U.S. has no apparent economic strategy of its own for Asia.

The U.S. and 11 other countries had reached a consensus in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that included updated rules designed to cover the region’s trade and investment, but that is now gone. With U.S. withdrawal from TPP, the rules for trade in Asia are likely to be set instead by China, the dominant economic partner in the region. Despite Chinese Premier Xi Jinping’s liberal trade sentiments expressed at Davos earlier this year, China’s current policies and measures are all too often far from being free-market oriented.

The Trump Administration needs to consider how it can re-engage with its former TPP partners, and other nations that had expressed an interest in joining TPP, to offer an alternative vision that is market-based. The means has to be found to have American economic leadership restored in the region.

What should not be done is for the U.S. to turn a blind eye to trade-distorting practices in order to induce China to act as a responsible stakeholder on security and foreign policy issues. This is a current issue because of the President’s tweet this week:

These two issues should not be linked. China should be motivated to rein in Pyongyang to serve its own security needs. Trading off U.S. commercial interests makes no sense. If the U.S. has competitive goods and services, they should be welcomed by China, and not sacrificed to get China’s cooperation with respect to North Korea. Nor should the U.S. accept without complaint products created through misdirected industrial policies shipped to the United States in quantities that cause injury to U.S. industries and resulting in substantial loss of U.S. jobs.

No one can doubt that U.S. national security is at risk with North Korea continuing on its path to develop longer-range missiles that can reach the United States, as well as our allies, with nuclear warheads. But this country also has a vital national interest in maintaining a strong industrial base. This is essential to serve America’s national security now and in the future. Having the shape of the U.S. economy determined by others’ industrial policies is not acceptable.

Alan Wolff is a Senior Counsel at the law firm Dentons LLP. He is a former senior trade negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations.

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