> ...American businesses require a special license to supply goods to Huawei after the U.S. added the Chinese telecommunications giant to a trade blacklist in May over national-security concerns.
Uh... this doesn't sound like a decision based on national security concerns, right? If the US requires a special license to buy from Huawei due to ties to Chinese state security... what does that have to do with how many soybeans China buys, and why would the latter affect the former? Does Huawei have less worrisome ties to Chinese state security when China buys more soybeans?
This is obvious to everyone, that it's got nothing to do with national security concerns, it's just a trade war entirely unmoored from the previous free-trade consensus? The administration feels no need to hide it? And yet won't actually just say it either, they still provide a cover story they know is unbelievable? What's going on exactly? This really is a new phase of global politics.
Say Canada pulls an Uber and just drives all US forges out of business with Uber cheap metals. Though I doubt we have thay much production capacity to actually put the US at risk.
I guess it's pretty straightforwardly self-serving, but surely all the other countries' economy's who get carelessly trashed constitute a bigger national security issue!
I ask this question in good faith: global trade definitely has its downsides, but one positive aspect it has is that reduces the probability of armed conflict taking place between countries trading with one another. All else being equal, waging war on a customer deprives one of their business, and waging war on a supplier deprives one of that source of supplies.
To your point, cultivating your in-house engineers on a given project means that those engineers are tied up in that endeavour as opposed to working on something that has a higher return on investment.
I may be an attempt at making a decent case, but yeah, the bullying rhetoric muddy this issue.
And that's really a dangerous slope for US to go in. If they make spying on their neighbors a criterion to impose tarrifs, I am sure Europe would be happy to push some obligations on the GAFA
Second, this administration has been promising a trade war with China since before the election. It's not as if this is some kind of surprise. "CHYNA!" was a major campaign issue.
For background: in the Nixon era, the USA decided that it would start a Marshall plan style trade deficit funded "investment" in China, with the belief that increasing the economic prosperity of the PRC would lead it to greater openness and generally becoming a tame satrapy of the US empire, much as Germany and Japan did. Now that it's clear that plan was a complete failure and the Chinese played the Americans for fools, some Americans, most notable among them the President, are looking to reset to a less inequitable trade relationship. Pretty much all major economic and political news from the pacific region is a consequence of this process. The Hong Kong riots? Turns out the CIA is involved. North Korean missile launches? Yeah, how much real autonomy does the DPRK have when China decides to call shots?
 https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/08/08/us-calls-china-thug... (Obviously this is a pro-US outlet and frames it as innocuously as possible, but anyone who knows anything about tradecraft knows that "diplomat" in this context is a polite word for operative).
I would be very interested in seeing any credible evidence that 'the CIA is involved' in the current Hong Kong protests.
And I don't mean HKHermit scratching his stomach, or the hilarious training manual for non-verbal battle communications...
On the other hand, Chinese involvement would also make sense, but things are too obviously pointing to their direction for my subjective taste.
Maybe its both - US escalating situation just because that's what 3-letter agencies do, China obviously deeply involved since its a crucial place for them and literally their territory, which is rebelling and questioning Chinese supremacy. At the end, these are all just constant games for these folks.
Personally, I think that's a lazy argument trying to link the CIA (known bad) to the NED (therefore also bad). On the other hand, it does mean that US government organizations are picking favorites to provide with funding in order to influence the politics of foreign countries.
That should be clear by now :p
To act like this is not the case, is to ignore well documented history.
Why wouldn't you expect economic restrictions in national conflicts where we've agreed not to invade over such things?
I think the reason for this might have to do with denying the thing in front of a wto panel.
Do you also think that most of the troubling places that the US had to invade had, by coincidence, lots of oil in them?
This will be viewed in posterity as the fastest cold war ever won against a Communist country.
The commendable lifting on millions of Chinese citizens from poverty need not have been such a momentous task had the State not spent decades pushing those very same citizens into poverty in the first place.
1. Japanese invasion during WW2
2. British promotion of opium to balance out trade to get Tea and other Chinese products back in the 1800s.
Can the US similarly turn to alternative Huawei?
There was a piece about this on the radio a few months ago. It's actually a big deal. My memory isn't exact, because of the passage of time, but essentially, China needs America's soybeans because it can't grow enough of them on its own. And it needs the soybeans to feed its livestock in order to feed its people.
The natural thought is, "China can just buy soybeans elsewhere." Which is true. Except that there are not enough countries producing soybeans for export to fill the quantity that China requires.
A more important problem for China is seasonality. When America's soybeans are ready to harvest, Brazil's soybeans are just being planted, and vice versa.
So it leaves China eventually in a position where it can't/won't get soybeans from the U.S., Brazil doesn't have any soybeans to send, and none of the other countries can make up the defecit.
Therein lies the rub.
Edit: Commodities are fungible. They are things like gold, pork bellies, soybeans, and so on where there is no meaningful difference based on where they were produced. Buyers from some third country will buy soybeans from the USA, relabel them as originating in their country, and flip them to China for a profit. Trade circumvention is nothing new. The US seller doesn't even have to be complicit, once they deliver to the third party they have no control over the labeling and they're not liable to care much either.
Edit: Regarding 5G hardware: "The basic idea is that there is little differentiation between a commodity coming from one producer and the same commodity from another producer. A barrel of oil is basically the same product, regardless of the producer. By contrast, for electronics merchandise, the quality and features of a given product may be completely different depending on the producer." So, no, 5G hardware is not a commodity.
This isn't happening. US farmers are not selling as many soy beans as they used to. The year over year soy bean export decline was in the billions of dollars.
This massive piece of land may not have the effective and modern agriculture industry of USA but with enough investment and stable demand, it could have.
Russia is going places in the world of agriculture. It is a sector that is like telecoms in that a country that is behind can leapfrog the West by putting in new infrastructure.
This agricultural trade is working out with new markets sought for organic produce, 'kosher' food items and plenty else. It is also two way so Russia is best buddies with Turkey these days with agricultural trade being part of the deal.
Recently Russia signed up to have Huawei put in their 5G network. There is an on-going ambition to boost bilateral trade between China and Russia. Although dollar denominated, this trade is really 'barter', China get their soybeans, Russia get their 5G network. It is a win-win for both sides.
Also to remember is that Russia has had sanctions that have led to a certain level of self sufficiency. Hence the emphasis on the agricultural sector as well as manufacturing things like cars. Weapons sales are part of the picture too, good for foreign currency reserves.
I think patience is running out in China and in Russia with the UK/USA and their vassal states. The recent efforts to start conflict in Venezuela and Iran have been met with resolve from both China and Russia.
The world was unipolar after 9/11 with Western dominance in telecoms. Now it is a multi-polar world and all of that early dominance in mobile telecoms has evaporated. Had the UK/USA not been fighting pointless wars in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya (to name a few) then I don't think this situation of backwardness would have arisen.
(Gasp), Chinese people face hard times of eating lots of fish, shellfish and Laminaria kelp for some months...
Who’s interest would it serve for the US to be entirely dependent technically from a company with published ties to the CCP state security apparatus.
I'm sure it was a mistype, but China halted soybean purchases (not sales) from US soybean farmers and now possibly other agricultural products.
China imports 63% of traded soybeans.
The US accounts for 38% of exported soybeans.
Based on that alone, China is going to have to reduce its soybean consumption.
This is beyond one of those silly games where one country puts up a wall, so everyone else just navigates around it and wastes money on shipping.
Even though, on the whole, China exports a lot to the US and imports little (about 4 to 1 I think), China is a big food importer and the US is a big food exporter. When the US starts hitting Chinese companies with tariffs or through license restrictions, China doesn't have much space to retaliate because they have already closed off as much of their market as they can and only really import food in large quantities for consumption inside the country. They can't restrict imports of integrated circuits because we are doing that to them on our end and that basically leaves advanced medical technology and petroleum as strong retaliatory targets for China which China desperately wants.
Of course, the consumer ultimately pays for tariffs, or scarcity in this case, so we can expect the costs of food to rise in China. Couple this with the slowing economy and the recent devaluing of Chinese currency it could be a squeeze on the Chinese middle class.
Edit: Apparently I can't edit it.
According to this past Sunday's New York Times, the play here is that Trump raised tariffs on China this time because it refused to stop selling fentanyl to the United States. Naturally, this will be a big play in rural states where it's a big problem.
For some reason, the Times was the only place I saw this reported. Every other medium I looked at just glossed it over as "Evil Trump is raising tariffs on China and that means your iPhone will cost more!"
One month later: "Most fentanyl is now trafficked across US-Mexico border, not from China"
Because Mexico is importing fentanyl precusors from China and taking over distribution like everyone predicted. Not much more China can do, you can't exactly ban basic chemistry.
But oddly I didn't hear about this until your post. So thanks for mentioning it.
But that's the problem with so much noise, when there is a sliver of signal, it just gets lost.
Edit: Missing "not" is a serious sin in writing...
One of the main policy of the Communist Party since they were founded is to fight off foreign aggression (look at China's history since the 18th century if you are wondering about that).
The Chinese also have a strong cultural concept of "face" and "saving face".
Thus, I don't think that hitting China will produce any result unless there is an opportunity to get a deal that allows both parties to save face.
China is willing to endure, which is also an important Chinese cultural aspect, and their government does not have the pressure to please crowds in time for the next elections (which means all the time in the US).
At the moment I think that this just reinforces Chinese nationalism and the Chinese people's willingness to stick behind their government.
Nobody is going to do it for us, we need to organize and agitate ourselves.