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馬龍戰勝張本智和:「經濟學人」評貿易戰 (1)

2019-06-09 15:36 來源:網絡整理

「經濟學人」評貿易戰 (1)

2018-06-11 19:51 來源:LearnAndRecord

原標題:「經濟學人」評貿易戰 (1)

Friendly fire President Trump's tariffs have united his opponents at home and abroad

The domestic and diplomatic costs of picking trade fights

“HOW am I going to compete?” asks Sohel Sareshwala. He runs Accu-Swiss, a Californian company making customised components for the manufacture of semiconductors[半導體] and cars. President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium, both of which he uses as inputs, are eating into* his profit margins and delaying his orders. Meanwhile, Mr Sareshwala's competitors abroad, free of such concerns, can undercut* him.

*eat intoto use or take away a large part of something valuable, such as money or time 消耗,花掉,耗費(金錢或時間)

The high cost of living in London is eating into my savings.

倫敦生活費用太高了,我的積蓄都花出去不少了。

*undercut

1)to charge less than a competitor 要價低于(競爭對手)

2)to damage something or to make it fail 削弱;損害;使失敗(undermine)

Mr Sareshwala is not alone in his frustration. On June 1st Mr Trump extended tariffs to countries that supplied 81% of America's steel imports and 96% of aluminium imports in 2017, arguing that this was necessary to protect national security. Tight quotas apply to most of the rest. Only Australia was let off*, perhaps because of a friendship between the president and Greg Norman, an Australian golfer, who lobbied on his government's behalf. Mr Trump's tariffs and quotas have drawn a chorus of disapproval from American buyers of metal, the governments of Mexico, Canada and the European Union, and anyone concerned about the health of the rules-based system of world trade.

*let sb offto not punish someone who has committed a crime or done something wrong, or to not punish them severely 寬宥(某人);從輕處罰(某人)

Instead of a prison sentence they were let off with a fine.

他們沒有被判刑,只是被罰了款而已。

Plenty of business people besides Mr Sareshwala are finding that inputs are dearer and scarcer. Tariffs, imposed or threatened, have dulled foreign competition and pushed up the price of American-made metal. On June 5th hot-rolled steel[熱軋鋼] cost $329 per tone more in America than in western Europe, according to data from S&P Global Platts, a price-benchmark provider. The gap for aluminium was $290. The tariffs work like a tax, leading to more expensive bridges, pipelines, cars and beer cans. The quotas make planning nightmarish. When South Korea's were announced, some categories had already been filled.

Disquiet among the consumers of affected products is no surprise. More surprising is the resistance from those the tariffs are supposed to help. Though it at first supported tariffs, the United Steelworkers, a trade union, denounced them when they were unveiled because they included Canada, whose metalworkers happen to be members of the union too.

The Aluminum Association, an industry body, also weighed in. Its head, Heidi Brock, labelled Mr Trump's decision an “unfortunate outcome”. Ms Brock had hoped that any measures would be aimed at tackling Chinese subsidies and overcapacity. Instead, because 97% of the American industry's jobs are in aluminium processing, and supply chains cross back and forth in North America, the tariffs are a headache for her members.

More pain is on the way. America's trading partners are promising tariff retaliation[報復性關稅] that could affect as much as $43bn of its exports (see chart). They have picked products ranging from motorcycles to pork. Retaliation adds to worries that Mr Trump will harm America's economy. Taking both his trade restrictions and retaliation by others into account, Joseph Francois, Laura Baughman and Daniel Anthony of the Trade Partnership, a consulting firm, estimate that for every job in steel and aluminium gained, 16 would be lost elsewhere.

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