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HBR选读:Where Trump Does (and Doesn’t) Have Leverage with China  

2016-12-23 03:16:25|  分类: 领导力与管理学 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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HBR选读:Where Trump Does (and Doesn’t) Have Leverage with China

 

By Thomas Hout ; December 20, 2016

 

 

It seems President-elect Donald Trump isn’t interested in business as usual with China. Just as his intervention at Carrier Corporation in Indiana indicates he will intervene in corporations’ decisions where American presidents typically do not, his protocol-breaking phone call with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen — the first such communication since the U.S. recognized mainland China in 1979 — indicates he’s willing to push boundaries in his effort to reverse what he sees as the U.S. losing power to Beijing. His Carrier move may be in the right direction, but the Taiwan phone call is not.

 

Trump faces a mixed business picture with China. U.S. multinationals, while increasingly harassed by Beijing, have many leading market share positions in China, especially in high-tech and sophisticated capital goods such as U.S.-made microprocessors and gas turbines. U.S. exports to China have, over the last 10 years, actually grown faster than China’s exports to the U.S., but the latter’s volume of exports is so much larger that the bilateral trade deficit has risen by roughly 50% since 2009 and stood at $366 billion in 2015. Still, China is the poster child for U.S. job killers. Ten years ago it accounted for less than one-third of the total U.S. trade deficit, but today it is half. Recent research suggests that Chinese imports, over the 12 years after the country’s WTO entry in 2001, took in excess of an estimated two million jobs out of U.S. communities.

 

To understand the U.S. relationship with China, it’s important to recognize that global macroeconomic headwinds are moving against Trump and his efforts to generate jobs for a working-class constituency. The U.S. has created no net new jobs for those whose highest educational level is a high-school degree (or less) since the job market bottomed out in 2010, but it has created 4 million jobs for people with a bachelor’s degree. Low-wage economies like Mexico’s and China’s absorb American technology and build industrial capability more easily today than ever. Plus, the trade-weighted value of the U.S. dollar has risen roughly 25% over the last four years, which is pushing even more jobs in furniture, appliances, and similar sectors out of the U.S. The manufacturing sector as a whole has added roughly a half million jobs since the recovery — but all for highly skilled, technical, and managerial people.

 

Trump may have overpromised on bringing back jobs, but he does have some tools to work with as he tries to narrow the trade gap and create a strategy for China. He has two levels to operate on: first, directly influencing corporate investment and buying decisions, and second, diplomatic engagement with trading partners. The trick will be to put together enough success stories to scale up the effect on the U.S. economy.

 

First, he needs to string together enough Carrier-type deals, especially among large factory complexes that influence the wider supply chain. The Carrier deal is interesting because it will make its suppliers think twice about moving, so the job-saving effect can multiply. Criticism of Trump’s move as “crony capitalism” misses the point: States like Indiana already give money to retain old or attract new jobs, and Trump can seek to target such operations to leverage the state money spent. U.S. companies close home factories more readily than German and Japanese corporations, and Trump can use the presidency to challenge that boardroom culture.

 

To do this, Trump needs to positively orchestrate more and threaten less. The companies to focus on would be those that import heavily from China, such as big retailers like Walmart or branded orchestrators like Apple. These companies can be persuaded that doing more business in America is a smart business move. For instance, Walmart currently has an effort to add $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next 10 years. This is not a charity move on Walmart’s part, but rather a management effort to educate and train American manufacturers on the hidden costs of offshore sourcing and how to be more effective suppliers to Walmart. Trump knows how to use the bully pulpit to press this kind of thinking on all big-box retailers and big distributors. The key here would be to identify U.S. supply chains where proximity to the American buyer is a dollars-and-cents advantage, i.e., where offshore logistics are expensive or unreliable, response time is critical, and the product count is high with specs that change frequently. Many CEOs would love to be cast in a pro-American light, even if it costs a few pennies of quarterly earnings.

 

Trump’s second level is diplomacy with trading partners, especially China. The American posture toward China since President Nixon and Henry Kissinger opened relations in 1972 has been to bring China into the international community, including opening and integrating its economy with others. The benefits have been great not just for China but also for U.S. multinational companies — from companies such as P&G and IBM to a huge range of high-end U.S. service industries like higher education, publishing, design, and consulting.

 

But the lower end of U.S. manufacturing has borne the cost of China’s export scale. Here’s a good cause for Trump to champion: China now holds hostage multinational access to high-tech and capital goods markets by requiring technology transfer to domestic Chinese manufacturers and domestic content requirements. Further, China seeks to force U.S. information technology companies to disclose their proprietary source code, which is their core competitive advantage.

 

Trump should focus on this Chinese gaming of market access and intellectual property, especially in those industries where American multinationals are world leaders. He could do this by insisting on reciprocity in access on a product-by-product basis, otherwise China loses its U.S. access. For example, if U.S. producers of wind turbines do not have the same market access in China as Chinese producers have in the U.S., the U.S. would demand the same access or reduce its openness to China’s level.

 

Trump can also extend this reciprocity standard to incoming direct foreign investment from China. He has leverage in this area; the U.S. already has operations in China, but Chinese technology companies are now just entering the U.S. He can also press for a bilateral treaty imposing penalties on the state if it fails to stop intellectual property theft. And he can insist that Beijing quickly complete its unmet compliance with WTO on state-owned enterprise and service industry market access. All of this is focused and legitimate.

 

Trump will find himself limited in what he can do unilaterally. The high tariffs on Chinese exports he has threatened are self-defeating, as China will simply embargo shipments from the hundreds of U.S.-owned factories there that feed critical components to their worldwide manufacturing operations. And most Chinese foreign direct investment into the U.S. should be welcomed, even promoted. The Chinese are more willing to invest in the U.S. than are some large American corporations.

 

There is still much that can be done in working with China, including negotiating a larger agreement with China to stabilize the value of the yuan (which is falling) and to cap the bilateral trade deficit. Trump’s interventions with U.S. companies will barely dent this deficit. The U.S.-China trade imbalance is structural, based on China’s export scale, the overvalued safe-haven U.S. dollar, and the low U.S. savings rate. Beijing understands the political problem that trade deficit–driven job losses pose for a U.S. president and will negotiate accordingly. It can do more to influence the trade deficit than Washington can, and Beijing will negotiate — but not if Trump continues to talk to Taiwan. This is China’s number one sensitivity. In my view, the current Taiwan-U.S.-China agreement works for the U.S. and Taiwan. Don’t trade it away.

 

Most of all, Trump must keep his trade demands on Beijing specific and legitimate. The question is, does he have the discipline?

 

 

以上内容摘自:

https://hbr.org/2016/12/why-ethical-people-make-unethical-choices 

 

 

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