Japan Will Suffer if Trump Gets What He Wants from ChinaPosted: December 11, 2016
Obama’s TPP aims at containing China but he fails to see that China will retaliate to make it harder for US products to enter the vast Chinese market. I have pointed out repeatedly in my previous posts that the US is Japan’s major competitor in Chinese market due to growing demand for high-tech products there. Japan’s Abe is shrewd in encouraging the US to contain China while he himself has been trying hard to improve Japan’s trade relations with China for better access to Chinese market.
In addition, the concessions the US has made to Japan provide Japan with much better access than China to US market, which is China’s biggest export market.
Sorry for Abe, TPP will soon be scrapped. US new leader is much shrewder. He knows containing China means containing the US itself. The US wants better access to the Chinese market as it is not only the largest but will grow even larger.
Quite a few analysts and media believe that Trump will carry on Obama’s stupid policies that hurt the US itself while hurting China.
They think that first of all, Trump will pressure China in the South China Sea and may cause the US to fight a war with China.
What US boys will die for in such a war? What will the US get if it wins the war? The US will help the Philippines to get some rocks and the rights to exploit fish and energy resources there but will get nothing but a long-term tenacious enemy that will grow even stronger despite the war.
Reuters report “Trump packs trade team with veterans of steel wars with China” yesterday gives the impression that Trump is making preparations for a trade war with China. Trump is not so stupid and to have a trade war that hurts both the US and China.
On the contrary, instead of having China as an enemy, Trump wants to have China as a better friend. That was why in his latest speech on China in Iowa, he did not even mention the South China Sea. He only wants China to abide by WTO rules that China has promised to abide by, so as to make China respect US intellectual property rights, reduce unfair import taxes on US goods and not to control the exchange rate of Chinese currency.
Diplomatically, Trump only wants China to control North Korea.
SCMP says in its report yesterday on Trump’s speech, “Trump said of China. ‘Other than that, they’ve been wonderful, right?’”
Moreover, SCMP quotes Trump as saying in the speech, “One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China”.
Such improvement is possible as China is carrying out the reforms to enable Chinese enterprises and people to develop intellectual property, especially the patents and trademarks for its products in world market. For that, it has to respect others’ intellectual property.
In its reform, China wants its currency to become a major international currency so that it has to let market determine the exchange rate of its currency.
China has to follow WTO’s rules on import tax and Trump only wants China to abide by the rules. There will be no difficulties for China to treat imports from the US fairly.
As for North Korea, China has been trying its best.
SCMP says that Trump’s administration would focus on two rules: “Buy American and hire American,”
For “buy American”, Trump has to encourage US firms to develop high-tech products better than Japan’s to have a greater market share in China.
For example, China has taken over Japan’s export market for low-end electric appliance such as fans, television sets and refrigerators, but Japan has developed expensive high-tech products to maintain a share of the market.
In addition, Japan has developed new high-tech products. For example, bread machines. As a bread lover, I first purchased a French one and then a much more expensive Japanese high-tech one. The bread made by the Japanese machine is much better and the machine operates entirely automatic. I simply give up he French one.
When my wife visited his relatives and friend in Shanghai and Zhejiang, China recently, she found that quite a few of them have bought bread machines and are making bread at home. My wife gave them some of the bread made by my machine. They were surprised at the fine quality of my bread and wanted to buy the expensive Japanese machines. As Chinese people grow richer, there will be great demand for high-tech imports. The US has the technology to win competition in that market.
That will be the way for Trump to achieve his goal of “buy American” at the expense of Japan.
The US will no longer contain China with its TPP and creation of tension in the South China Sea to benefit Abe.
Moreover, US products will grab market share from Japan in Chinese market.
Trump’s new policies will benefit the US and China at the expense of Japan.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s and Reuters’ reports, full text of which can be found respectively at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2053200/trump-blasts-china-not-playing-rules and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-china-trade-analysis-idUSKBN13Y2FI.