The pandemic will not end globalisation, but it will reshape it
疫情不会结束全球化,但会重塑全球化

换位子 Changing places-书迷号 shumihao.com

FOR A TIME economic contagion seemed more threatening than the pathological kind. Though the spread of covid-19 was mainly in China, the damage was appearing along supply chains that produce the world’s goods, notably cars and consumer electronics. China is the world’s second-biggest exporter of parts, so as its factories shut down, manufacturers everywhere faced delays. Even before the virus took off in South Korea, Hyundai had halted production because of a shortage of imported parts. The World Economic Forum (whose annual bash in Davos epitomises globalisation) advised companies to bring production closer to customers.
经济传染病的威胁一度似乎比真正的疾病还要大。尽管新冠肺炎曾主要在中国蔓延,但损害却出现在为全世界生产商品的供应链上,尤其是汽车和消费电子产品。中国是世界第二大零部件出口国,因此随着其工厂的关闭,各地的制造商都面临着延误。甚至在韩国爆发疫情之前,现代汽车就因为进口零件短缺而停产了。世界经济论坛(在达沃斯举行的年度盛会是全球化的标志)建议公司让生产更靠近客户。

As the pandemic spread, location ceased to matter much. There was no escaping the disease: the world economy saw its deepest, most synchronised collapse on record. Some of the least globalised economic activities—restaurants, cinemas, fitness classes and other services—suffered most. More than goods, people stopped crossing borders; Davos 2021 was postponed. However, the supply-chain panic has left a lasting impression. For business, it is further evidence of the risks of distant disruption. For governments it offers more reasons to turn inward. The result is to accelerate changes to globalisation that were already in train.
随着疫情的蔓延,地理位置不再那么重要了。没有什么地方能逃脱疫情影响:世界经济出现了有史以来最深重、最同步的崩溃。全球化程度最低的一些经济活动(餐馆、电影院、健身班和其他服务)遭受的打击最大。不再越过边境的不只是货物,还有人;2021年的达沃斯论坛被推迟了。但是,供应链恐慌给人们留下了持久的印象。对于企业来说,这进一步证明了发生在远方的中断带来的风险。对于政府而言,它提供了更多向内转的理由。其结果是全球化本已在进行中的变化加速了。

Global supply chains were forged in the period from the mid-1980s until the financial crisis 25 years later. Trade surged in volume and changed in nature. It grew nearly twice as fast as global output, as emerging markets in Asia were bedded in to the world economy. After China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, its share of world exports of many parts and capital goods grew from under 10% to over 30%. Countries often specialised not in specific goods, but in bits of them. Taiwan, South Korea and Japan made semiconductors for the consumer-electronics industry. China supplied parts to German carmakers. The rise of computing made such complexity manageable. Globalisation brought cheaper goods to the rich world and, thanks to what Ben Bernanke, then Fed chairman, called a “global saving glut”, low interest rates. It also displaced many workers. Perhaps a million Americans lost their jobs to Chinese competition.
从1980年代中期到25年后的金融危机,全球供应链在这个期间建立了起来。贸易量激增,性质也改变了。随着亚洲新兴市场融入世界经济,贸易的增速几乎是全球产出的两倍。中国于2001年加入世贸组织后,它在世界上许多零部件和资本货物出口中所占的份额从不到10%增长到30%以上。国家和地区擅长生产的往往不是特定的商品,而是其中的一些部分。台湾、韩国和日本为消费电子行业生产半导体。中国向德国汽车制造商提供零部件。计算的兴起使得这种复杂性变得可管理。全球化为富裕世界带来了更便宜的商品,而且由于当时的美联储主席本·伯南克口中的“全球储蓄过剩”,它还带来了低利率。它也使许多工人失业。也许有一百万美国人因中国竞争而丢了饭碗。

The 2010s slammed on the brakes. Trade stagnated as a share of GDP; foreign direct investment fell. As China’s middle class grew, it consumed domestically more of what it produced. Its share of world exports stopped rising in 2015, but its share of world imports continued to grow. As manufacturing became more automated, savings from locating production where workers were cheapest shrank. The rise of social media made consumer fads more volatile, necessitating faster production and shipment to satisfy impatient buyers. “Just in time” delivery of parts worked better with closer suppliers. And disasters highlighted the risk of a specialised economy. The tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 cut Toyota’s production in America by nearly a third because of a shortage of parts, while flooding in Thailand inundated factories producing a quarter of the world’s hard drives. Firms began to see long supply chains as unwieldy and risky. Trade started to concentrate in regional blocks. Globalisation became slowbalisation.
这一切在2010年代猛踩刹车。贸易在GDP中所占份额停滞不前,外国直接投资下跌了。中国中产阶级的增长推动它在本国消费更多自家产品。它在世界出口中所占的份额在2015年不再上升,但在世界进口中所占的份额继续增长。随着制造业变得更加自动化,将生产转移到人工最便宜的地方能节省下来的钱变少了。社交媒体的兴起使消费者的风潮更加飘忽不定,需要更快的生产和发货来满足没有耐心的买家。邻近的供应商更能够满足零部件的“及时”交付。灾难凸显了专业化经济的风险。2011年袭击日本的海啸使丰田汽车在美国的产量因零部件短缺减少了近三分之一,而泰国的洪水淹没了生产世界四分之一硬盘的工厂。企业开始认为漫长的供应链笨重又高风险。贸易开始向区域性板块集中。“全球化”变成了“慢球化”。

Then Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, and a trade war began between America and China. Companies realised they were exposed to political risk from economic nationalism, as much as from distant disruption. In 2019, as average American tariffs on Chinese imports rose from 12% to 21%, and tariffs in the other direction rose from 17% to 21%, America’s share of Chinese imports and exports fell to its lowest in 27 years, before China’s WTO entry. America circumvented and then sabotaged the WTO, stopping the nomination of judges to its appeal board and thus its ability to adjudicate trade disputes. In Europe Britain voted for Brexit in June 2016. Many European leaders grew frustrated with unfettered markets, wishing to have national champions that could compete with China’s state-backed giants.
然后,特朗普在2016年11月当选总统,美国和中国开打贸易战。企业意识到自己面临经济民族主义带来的政治风险,程度不亚于远方的中断。2019年,由于美国对中国进口商品的平均关税从12%上升至21%,而另一方向的关税从17%上升至21%,美国在中国进出口中的份额下跌到了27年来的最低水平——27年前中国还没有入世。美国先是绕开了世贸组织,然后再从中作梗,阻止其上诉委员会法官的提名,导致它无法裁决贸易争端。在欧洲,英国于2016年6月公投支持脱欧。许多欧洲领导人对不受限制的市场感到沮丧,希望拥有能与中国受国家支持的巨头一争高下的领军企业。

The blow struck by covid-19 has made supply chains a “CEO and board level topic,” says Susan Lund of McKinsey, a consultancy. Until this year, she says, many firms did not realise how much their supply chains depended on China. In a survey conducted by McKinsey in May, some 93% of firms reported plans to make supply chains more resilient. The firm finds 180 products for which a single country accounts for over 70% of exports and reckons the production of 16-26% of goods exports could change location in the next five years. Firms are worried not just about trade wars and other shocks, but about their environmental footprint and labour standards. These are easier to monitor closer to home.
麦肯锡咨询公司的苏珊·隆德(Susan Lund)说,新冠疫情的打击使供应链成为“首席执行官和董事会一级的话题”。她说,直到今年,许多公司才意识到它们的供应链对中国的依赖程度。在麦肯锡5月开展的一项调查中,约93%的公司报告了使供应链更具弹性的计划。该公司发现了单个国家或地区占出口70%以上的180种产品,并认为未来五年内有16%到26%的出口商品可能会改变生产地点。企业不仅担心贸易战和其他冲击,还担心环境足迹和劳工标准。这些事务在大本营附近更容易监控。

Covid-19 has also given politicians a chance to indulge their protectionist instincts. The origin of the virus in Wuhan gave Mr Trump a stick with which to beat China, and another multilateral institution, the World Health Organisation, on which to pour scorn (and, in this case, begin withdrawing from). There has been an upsurge in government intervention to protect jobs and rescue firms; by the end of April the EU had approved more than €2.2trn ($2.6trn) in state aid. Even before the pandemic France and Germany wanted Europe’s state-aid and competition rules loosened in the name of promoting national champions.
疫情还为政客们提供了机会来尽情放任他们的贸易保护主义直觉。病毒源于武汉这一点给了特朗普一根大棒来打击中国,也让他能大肆嘲讽另一个多边机构世界卫生组织(他还开始退出这个组织)。为了保护就业和救助公司,政府的干预大幅增加。到4月底,欧盟已批准了超过2.2万亿欧元(2.6万亿美元)的国家援助。甚至在疫情之前,法国和德国就希望以支撑领军企业的名义放宽欧洲的国家援助和竞争规则。

Interdependence days
相互依存的日子

Politicians have also come to realise how much health-care systems depend on trade. Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) spurred many to limit or block exports of these and similar goods. The IMF counts 120 new export restrictions this year. For many medical goods production is highly concentrated: China accounts for 60% or more of exports of antibiotics, sedatives, ibuprofen and paracetamol. Britain has launched “Project Defend”, which will try to reduce reliance on Chinese production of critical products with a mix of reshoring and guarantees that supplies pass through friendly countries.
政客们也开始意识到医疗体系对贸易的依赖有多大。个人防护装备(PPE)的短缺促使许多人去限制或阻止此类及类似商品的出口。国际货币基金组织IMF今年统计到了120项新的出口限制。许多医疗产品的生产高度集中:中国占抗生素、镇静剂、布洛芬和扑热息痛出口量的60%或更多。英国启动了“防卫计划”,试图通过回流生产和保证供应路径通过友好国家来减少对中国生产关键产品的依赖。

Unhappily, the political appeal of protectionism grows during slumps. When economies lack demand, governments covet spending that leaks overseas on imports. This is what led to a devastating round of protectionism in the 1930s. Protection also rose after the financial crisis. It does not help that China’s stimulus has tried to keep production going, whereas rich-world governments have supported household incomes. Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank, notes that China’s current-account surplus, which was shrinking, has exploded this year. Its exports have recovered strongly, outward flows of tourists have all but stopped and commodity prices have fallen, making imports cheaper. Were China’s trade surplus in July sustained for a year it would add up to $700bn, surely enough to worsen the trade war with America even if Joe Biden replaces Mr Trump.
不幸的是,在经济衰退期,贸易保护主义的政治吸引力会变大。当经济体缺乏需求时,政府会垂涎因进口而泄漏到海外的开支。1930年代毁灭性的贸易保护主义就是这样来的。金融危机后,贸易保护同样抬头了。雪上加霜的是,中国的刺激计划试图使生产保持运转,而富裕国家的政府却在支撑家庭收入。智库对外关系委员会的布拉德·塞瑟(Brad Setser)指出,中国的经常项目盈余原本在萎缩,但今年却呈爆炸性增长。它的出口强劲恢复,出境游客流几乎停止,而大宗商品价格下降,使进口价格更便宜。如果中国7月份的贸易顺差能够维持一年,总计将达到7000亿美元。即使拜登取代特朗普,这一点也足以加剧与美国的贸易战。

Such is the confluence of forces bearing down on global trade—organic slowbalisation, trade wars, suspicion of supply chains—that some draw comparisons between today and the early 20th century. Then, a peak in globalisation collapsed under the weight of the first world war, Spanish flu and then the 1930s depression.
逐步演进的慢球化、贸易战、对供应链的疑虑——这些令全球贸易承压的力量就这样汇合到了一起。这让一些人把今天和20世纪初相比较。当时,在第一次世界大战、西班牙流感以及1930年代大萧条的重压下,全球化在顶峰处崩溃了。

The comparison is too pessimistic. Trade has not done as badly as feared. In April the WTO forecast that goods trade would fall by 13-32% this year; today it seems more likely to be just 10%. The IMF says the decline in trade will be commensurate with the slump in demand from the recession. That is in contrast to the aftermath of the financial crisis, when trade fell by more than its usual relationship with GDP suggested. It also shows that supply chains have not been wholly wrecked. They were crucial for the response to PPE shortages, argues Sébastien Miroudot of the OECD club of mostly rich countries. South Korea, which has been exporting millions of test kits to America and Europe, was uniquely placed to ramp up production using existing supply chains and relationships.
这种比较太过悲观了。贸易的表现并不像人们此前担心的那么糟糕。世贸组织在4月份预测今年的货物贸易将下降13%至32%,如今看来很可能仅下跌10%。IMF表示,贸易下滑的程度将呼应经济衰退带来的需求下滑。这与金融危机的后果形成鲜明对比,当时金融危机造成的贸易降幅超过了按照它与GDP之间通常的关系所做的预测。这也表明供应链还没有完全崩溃。大多由富裕国家组成的经合组织(OECD)的塞巴斯蒂安·米鲁多(Sébastien Miroudot)认为,这对于应对PPE的短缺至关重要。韩国已经向美国和欧洲出口了数百万套测试套件,它有得天独厚的条件来利用现有的供应链和合作关系提高产量。

The logic of turning inward in response to the pandemic is shaky. A recent working paper by Barthélémy Bonadio of the University of Michigan and three co-authors studies 64 countries and finds that one-quarter of the drop in GDP this year was transmitted along supply chains, but that reshoring production would not have reduced the damage. Mr Miroudot distinguishes a supply chain’s robustness (the ability to keep working through a crisis), from its resilience (the ability to bounce back from one). The history of supply chains is that they are not robust but they are resilient, because companies are quick to find workarounds. Their robustness could be improved, but not by repatriating production, since disaster can strike at home as well. Had New York been the centre of mask production when covid-19 struck, the result would have been a “real big mess”, argues Shannon O’Neil of the Council on Foreign Relations.
因疫情而向内转的逻辑是站不住脚的。密歇根大学的巴特雷米·伯纳第奥(Barthélémy Bonadio)和三位合著者最近发表的工作论文研究了64个国家,发现今年GDP下降的四分之一是通过供应链传递的,但是让生产回流并不会减少损失。米鲁多把供应链的稳健度(在危机中保持运转的能力)和它的复原力(从危机中反弹的能力)区分开来。从供应链的历史看,它们并不稳健但复原力很高,因为企业可以迅速找到变通的方法。它们的稳健度有改进的余地,但回流生产无济于事,因为灾难也可能袭击本国。外交关系委员会的香农·奥尼尔(Shannon O’Neil)认为,如果在新冠疫情袭击时纽约是口罩生产的中心,结果将是“一场大麻烦”。

Governments might choose to ignore all this in favour of protection. But most firms are not about to abandon their cross-border investments. A survey by the US-China Business Council shows little change in the number of American firms saying they have moved or plan to move out of China. The survival of the “phase one” trade deal struck in 2019 suggests that even the Trump administration knows there are limits to the desirability of decoupling from China. Rather than a wholesale break, covid-19 is likely to cause an acceleration of forces already in motion. Firms will trade off a bit of efficiency for more robustness, realising that in the long run the robotisation of manufacturing may lead to more local production anyway. Governments will shorten and diversify supply chains for medical equipment. But America and China will trade under a darker cloud of mutual suspicion, balancing commercial and geopolitical interests.
各国政府可能忽略所有这一切而选择保护性政策。但是大多数公司不会放弃它们的跨境投资。美中贸易理事会的一项调查显示,自称已经搬出或计划搬出中国的美国公司数量几乎没有变化。2019年达成的“第一阶段”贸易协议的存续表明,即使特朗普政府也知道与中国脱钩的意愿存在局限性。新冠疫情可能会让已经启动的力量加速,而不是造成全盘脱钩。企业将以牺牲一点效率为代价来换取更高的稳健度,因为它们意识到,从长远来看,制造业的机械化可能无论如何都会带来更多的本地生产。政府将让医疗设备的供应链更短、更分散。但是美国和中国将在相互怀疑的阴云之间开展贸易,在商业和地缘政治利益之间寻求平衡。

Further ahead the future of globalisation will be determined less by goods than by services. Before covid-19 services trade was not suffering from slowbalisation: it was growing faster than GDP. Exports of services account for around a fifth of all trade, according to the WTO (although what exactly counts as services trade is a matter of some debate). Like trade in goods, trade in services has suffered this year as tourist flows have collapsed. But consumers are unlikely to have suddenly lost their taste for travel, and countries have little long-term incentive to close borders to tourists. It seems likely that tourism will eventually rebound.
再往远了说,全球化的未来将更多地取决于服务而非商品。在疫情之前,服务贸易并未遭受慢球化的影响——其增长速度超过了GDP。根据世贸组织的说法,服务出口约占所有贸易的五分之一(尽管究竟什么才算是服务贸易尚有争议)。像货物贸易一样,今年的服务贸易也受到了影响,因为游客流量锐减。但是,消费者不太可能突然失去对旅行的兴趣,而且各个国家和地区也没有什么长期的动力来对游客关闭边境。看起来旅游业最终是会反弹的。

Meanwhile, the surge of investment in remote working during 2020 might open the door to more trade in digital services. When work is carried out remotely, it does not matter where it is done. On the more futuristic end, this involves remote presence. Whereas the export of repair services previously required high-skilled engineers to cross borders, virtual- and augmented-reality technologies now allow experts in one country to help lower-skilled workers fix machines in another, says Ms Lund. Richard Baldwin of the Graduate Institute in Geneva points to the potential for remote workers in poor countries to carry out basic office tasks for firms in the rich world. Before the pandemic the WTO was already talking up the potential for more trade in digital services, predicting that if developing countries adopted digital technologies, they could reap the rewards of a higher share of international services trade.
与此同时,2020年对远程办公的投资激增可能为更多数字服务贸易打开大门。当工作远程进行时,在哪里做事就无所谓了。从更未来主义的角度来看,这意味着远程存在。隆德说,以前出口维修服务需要有技术的工程师跨越国界,而虚拟现实和增强现实技术如今可以让一国的专家帮助另一国的低技术工人修理机器。日内瓦高级国际关系学院的理查德·鲍德温(Richard Baldwin)指出,贫穷国家偏远地区的工人有可能为富裕国家的公司执行基本的办公任务。在疫情之前,世贸组织已经在谈论数字服务贸易的增长潜力,并预测如果发展中国家采用数字技术,它们将因国际服务贸易份额的提升而获益。

Services trade is hard to liberalise because it often means harmonising regulations. Fields such as education, health care, accounting and finance are littered with barriers to entry and requirements for local credentials. The most successful model for remotely provided services is India’s IT sector, which faces few regulatory hurdles. But disputes over cross-border data flows and the taxation of internet giants augur badly for faster digital integration. Digital trading, just like trade in goods, is increasingly concentrated in regional regulatory blocks. Yet Mr Baldwin argues that the rise of online services trade will bypass tensions between East and West, because it will take place within time zones: South America will supply cheap digital services to North America, Africa to Europe, and South-East Asia to North-East Asia.
服务贸易很难放开,因为这通常意味着要协调法规。教育、医疗、会计和金融等领域充斥着准入门槛和本地的证书要求。最成功的远程服务供应模板是印度的IT部门,它几乎没什么监管障碍。但是,有关跨境数据流和向互联网巨头征税的争端对加快数字整合而言不是什么好兆头。就像货物贸易一样,数字贸易也越来越集中在区域化监管板块里。然而鲍德温认为,在线服务贸易的兴起将绕过东西方之间的紧张局势,因为它将发生在时区内:南美将向北美供应廉价数字服务,非洲向欧洲供应,东南亚向东北亚供应。

The increased digitisation brought on by covid-19 can only help services trade, even as goods trade continues to slowbalise. But the extent of that help depends on how much the pandemic reshapes labour markets.■
哪怕货物贸易继续放缓,新冠疫情带来的数字化增长也只会提升服务贸易。但是这种提升的程度取决于疫情如何重塑劳动力市场。