为什么说中美贸易战穷国不会吃亏?

 In op-ed

过去几周来中美这两头大象和二者之间看起来像是要长期开打下去的贸易战占据了新闻标题。这场贸易战短期看很可能对两国经济都造成消极影响,因为提高关税会让许多商品成本增加。

这对世界其他国家、特别是穷国有什么影响呢?

从原理上看,简单来说,美国对中国征收关税会对大多数非洲、加勒比海和太平洋国家(ACP国家)不利,原因有二。

首先,关税涉及的自然资源(钢和铝)和许多制成品恰恰也是ACP国家想对美出口的,当然前提是这些国家具备相应的制造能力。

其次,根据世贸组织规则,美国不能单拎出中国来征关税,这就意味着ACP国家可能也将面临相同的关税。有关国家如果不具备资源、关系或实力能通过快速谈判获得例外待遇(加拿大、墨西哥和澳大利亚就成功获得了例外待遇),就可能遭到关税冲击。南非就已经开始为对美钢材出口感到担心了。

另一方面,中国对美国征收关税从原理上说会让ACP受益。中国对美国征收关税主要针对的是农产品,而ACP国家农产品产量巨大。

2003年以来,中国对全球最不发达国家提供关税例外待遇,目前占到这些最不发达国家出口商品种类的95%。经合组织数据显示,农产品在美国(和欧洲)得到巨大财政补贴,如果说有任何变动促使美国农产品更趋近于其真实价格,那就会让那些不补贴或者没有能力补贴农产品出口的国家受益。

不过,上述分析都是原理上、静态的分析。经济理论支持贸易数量的增加和贸易成本的下降,认为这样才有助于全球经济增长。大多数ACP国家都大规模进口中美制成品,如果中美制成品成本提升,而ACP国家的出口不增长,显然ACP国家就会成为输家。

从数字上说,非洲大陆55个国家中有43个(约占非洲国家五分之四)预计对华贸易逆差将增长,加勒比海和太平洋国家对华贸易逆差也呈同样增长的趋势。

此外,如果问大多数ACP国家官员关税是否会影响贸易,他们会说影响不大。对这些国家外贸影响更大的是产品认证要求、是否了解大国市场情况以及运输成本等因素。这些非关税壁垒往往成本很高,也导致ACP国家的产品难以进入中美这样的大国市场。

事实上,6年前联合国进行的一项研究显示,尽管中国制定了优惠政策,但事实上最不发达国家的农产品只有一半进入中国是免税的

令人悲伤的事实是,ACP国家在全球贸易体系中早已深陷劣势了,即便中美打起贸易战或者贸易战持续,也很难说ACP国家的境遇会变得更糟。

就在美国对中国产品征收关税之前,美国已先将卢旺达剔除在贸易优惠机制之外。上述贸易优惠机制本能让6500多种产品零关税进口到美国。美国之所以这么做,是因为卢旺达制定了保护本土新兴纺织市场的政策,而中国投资者对卢旺达纺织业的投资兴趣正在提升。

此外,美国的贸易优惠政策覆盖的产品种类是中国贸易优惠政策覆盖面的两倍,而且惠及39个非洲国家,而中国的优惠政策只覆盖33个非洲国家。

在保护主义倾向越来越明显的时刻,ACP国家和最不发达国家才是最应该受到保护的。这些国家现在是经济增速最高的国家,也有大量年轻人需要就业,进而彻底摆脱贫困。

这些国家正全力以赴自保,近期达成的非洲大陆自贸协议就是一个例子。不过这些国家需要来自其他国家的保护,这样他们才能在贸易战中胜出。

这些国家怎么才能胜出?中美能帮助这些国家,经合组织、欧盟、加拿大、澳大利亚都能提供帮助。上述国家和地区应努力确保ACP国家立即且持续享受出口商品100%免关税,免关税的商品应覆盖源自这些国家的原材料以及这些国家生产的半成品和成品。

经合组织国家应立即采取措施将非关税壁垒降到最低水平,包括取消动植物检疫证书机制。只要产品标签标明了来源和成分,就应让消费者而不是海关官员去决定产品的好坏。

经合组织国家这么做符合自己的利益。大多数经合组织国家都面向穷国开展贸易援助。如果不采取措施保护ACP国家、加强ACP国家应对中美贸易战的能力,那么经合组织纳税人500多亿美元的投入资金就将被浪费掉,也会丢失重要的机遇。

当前中美两头大象之间的贸易战肯定会踩到一些国家的草地。令人悲伤的是,这些受影响的国家本是一些幸运的已经在中美两国市场中占据一席之地的国家。

我们应抓住机遇,立即采取行动,在世界各地培育更多草地,并推动未来更多ACP国家能从贸易中受益。

本专栏于2018416日首次发表于Lowy Institute Interpreter。你可以在这里找到原文

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Edmond is a research analyst who is passionate about sustainable development, innovation, and the environment. Passionate about climate financing, he firmly believe there is a more reliable system to promote equality, growth, and welfare in societies without affecting the ecosystem. Through his skills, knowledge and experienced gained over 7 years, he wants to make an impact in the world of development. Edmond holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Korea Development Institute and a BA Degree (Honors) in Business from University of Derby.

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