How much would Joe Biden change trade policy? Less than you think
拜登会在多大程度上改变贸易政策?比你以为的小

延续性候选人 Continuity candidate-书迷号 shumihao.com

ON THE SUBJECT of trade policy, America’s Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, has been sounding rather like President Donald Trump. He claims that “economic security is national security”, promises to create millions of manufacturing jobs and pledges to reduce America’s dependence on China. On September 9th he published his “Made in America” plan, only for the White House to tell Fox News that it would host its own “Made in America” day on October 5th. America’s trading partners hoping for change may dismiss Mr Biden’s tough talk as campaign chatter. That would be unwise.
谈及贸易政策问题时,美国民主党总统候选人拜登的口气很像总统特朗普。他声称“经济安全就是国家安全”,承诺创造数百万个制造业岗位,誓言减少美国对中国的依赖。他在9月9日发表了自己的“美国制造”(Made in America)计划。白宫随之告知福克斯新闻台(Fox News),它将在10月5日举办自己的“美国制造”日。美国的贸易伙伴们期待形势发生改变,可能会把拜登强硬的言论当成竞选话术。这是不明智的。

Mr Biden would bring some changes, of course. Policy would be more consistent. Trade officials in Mexico and the European Union (EU) could stop following presidential tweets so avidly. Having slammed Mr Trump’s “empty” agreement with China, Mr Biden seems unlikely to strike shallow, transactional deals. In fact, despite his reputation for liking them, he may not agree to any at all. They can wait, he has said, until after “we have invested in Americans”.
当然,拜登还是会带来一些变化。政策会更加连贯。墨西哥和欧盟的贸易官员可以不用再狂热地关注总统的推特。在猛烈抨击了特朗普与中国达成的“空洞”协议后,拜登似乎不太可能达成肤浅的、交易性的协议。事实上,虽然他以喜欢这类交易闻名,却可能根本不会达成任何交易。他说过,这些可以等到“我们投资在美国人自己身上”之后再说。

Trading partners may hope that America stops applying new tariffs. They should manage their expectations. Mr Biden is no “Tariff Man”, as Mr Trump once proclaimed himself to be. But he has pledged to restrict imports from China that are deemed to be a national-security threat. Countries that do not live up to their environmental obligations could face a carbon-adjustment fee in the form of tariffs or quotas.
贸易伙伴们可能希望美国停止实行新的关税。他们应该管理好自己的预期。拜登不是特朗普曾经自诩的那种“关税侠”,但他已经承诺限制从中国进口那些被认为威胁国家安全的产品。不能完全履行自身环境义务的国家可能面临关税或限额形式的碳调整费。

Mr Biden sees as big a role for the government in supporting American manufacturing as Mr Trump does, perhaps a reflection of the fact that industrial policy is now in favour across the political spectrum. Mr Biden’s plans to strengthen “Buy American” rules would make it harder for the government to buy foreign cement, steel and equipment. Peter Navarro, Mr Trump’s trade adviser, would be proud.
拜登和特朗普一样,认为政府在支持美国制造业方面作用重大。这可能反映出产业政策目前获得了跨党派支持。拜登加强“购买美国货”(Buy American)规则的计划将导致政府更难采购外国的水泥、钢铁和设备。特朗普的贸易顾问彼得·纳瓦罗(Peter Navarro)想必会为此自豪。

Robert Lighthizer, America’s chief trade negotiator, reportedly expressed his unhappiness with the Agreement on Government Procurement, an international deal designed to prevent governments from imposing restrictions on how public funds are spent. Mr Biden promises to rewrite the rules, so that America and its allies can “use their own taxpayer dollars to spur investment in their own countries”.
美国首席贸易谈判代表罗伯特·莱特希泽(Robert Lighthizer)据称对《政府采购协定》(Agreement on Government Procurement)表示不满,该国际协定旨在防止政府限制公共资金的用途。拜登承诺改写规则,这样美国及其盟友就可以“用自己纳税人的钱来刺激对本国的投资”。

Moreover, Mr Biden has committed himself to using a broader range of tools than Mr Trump’s tariffs. He plans to spend $300bn of public funds to support research into artificial intelligence, electric vehicles and 5G. A “clawback” provision would make companies shipping jobs overseas hand back the subsidy. Some governments will see this as unfair: foreign companies facing subsidised competitors will find it as difficult to break into the American market as if they were facing tariffs. Others will take it as permission to hand out subsidies of their own. Either approach will breed tension. Mr Biden has pledged to fight back against countries undercutting American manufacturing using “unfair subsidies”.
此外,拜登还承诺使用比特朗普的关税类型更多样的工具。他计划动用3000亿美元公共资金支持对人工智能、电动汽车和5G的研究。一项“回溯”条款要求那些把工作岗位转移到海外的公司归还补贴。一些政府会认为这不公平:面对获得资助的竞争对手,外国企业会发现打入美国市场就跟要支付关税一样困难。其他政府则会由此认为自己也可以发放补贴了。无论哪一种都会助长紧张局势。拜登已经承诺要反击那些利用“不公平补贴”削弱美国制造业的国家。

Mr Biden’s silence on two matters has led to foreign suspicions of yet more continuity. The first relates to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which the Trump administration has hobbled by breaking its system of solving trade disputes. (A WTO judgment on September 15th that American tariffs on Chinese imports broke its rules will not whet the administration’s appetite for a fix.) The EU, which sees dispute settlement as integral to the rules-based trading system, wants to repair the mechanism. Mr Biden has not yet said if he will join in.
拜登在两件事上保持沉默,令国外怀疑他可能会在更多问题上延续特朗普的政策。第一件事涉及世贸组织,特朗普政府打破了该组织解决贸易争端的体系,令其陷入瘫痪(9月15日世贸组织裁决称美国对中国进口商品征收的关税违反了其规则,但这不会增加特朗普政府修复这个体系的欲望)。欧盟认为解决争端对以规则为基础的贸易体系而言至关重要,想要修复这一机制。拜登尚未表示他是否会加入。

The other matter is what Mr Biden will do with the tariffs imposed by Mr Trump. He has criticised them without pledging to remove them. Strategy might play a role: a Biden administration may want to dangle tariff reductions in return for concessions abroad. To America’s trading partners, that would feel rather familiar. ■
另一件事是拜登将如何处理特朗普实施的关税。他已经批评过这些关税,但并未承诺撤销它们。这其中可能有战略的考虑:拜登的政府可能希望把降关税作为一个诱饵来换取国外的让步。对美国的贸易伙伴来说,这会感觉相当熟悉。