International Trade and Investment
Rick's December 016 issue of the Oriental Economist covers following topics, Rust Belt voters won’t like the consequences of trade war - Be careful what you wish for, Putin ‘flips the table’ -Trepidation over Trump, NAFTA and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross - Can Ross restrain Trump? Japan auto parts firm relies on NAFTA, Proposals to increase electoral power of the young - ‘Silver democracy’.
Key points: - Trump’s dilemma is that withdrawal from NAFTA and high tariffs against China would cause enormous dislocation for American firms producing in the US; 40% of all US imports from Mexico consist of US content embodied in Mexican-assembled of Mexican-finished goods - US exports are highly dependent on imported inputs, e.g. a fifth of every dollar of manufactured exports consists of foreign inputs - US production of manufactured goods in general, and transport equipment in particular, are highly dependent on imported parts and supplies - The countries that send these goods to the US, whether it be Mexico or China or Canada, are themselves part of intricate international supply chains in which their exports contain lots of foreign content, including US content - The global ripple effects from a trade war would be enormous
In his latest alert, Richard reports that Trump’s dilemma is that voters won’t like consequences of what they asked for: withdrawal from NAFTA and high tariffs against China would cause enormous dislocation for firms producing in the US; 40% of all US imports from Mexico consists of US content embodied in Mexican goods and the blue states that Trump turned red in this election, some by very thin margins, are very dependent on both exports to NAFTA and China, and imports from them.
Key points: - If Trump fulfills plans to deport 11 million illegal aliens, launch trade war with China and Mexico, and perhaps withdraw from NAFTA, it could spark serious recession - But failure to take action could lead supporter to regard him as another phony - Stock market and most economists are betting Trump will not fulfill these plans - His big tax cuts are seen as bullish: stimulus to economy from tax cuts will more than offset drag caused by rise in interest rates and the dollar - Economists still a bit higher growth under Trump than Clinton in 2018 (2.3% vs. 2.0%) - Dollar index vis-à-vis all trading partners has spiked to 15-year high, including weakening of yen back to ¥110/$ - Reason is widening gap between US and Japanese interest rates
Rick's October issue of the Oriental Economist includes topics of Risk Averse Culture or Adverse Risk/Reward Ratio - Nurturing Entrepreneurs, Abe’s Agenda 2017 -Election being Planned, BOJ Waves the White Flag, Rightist Nihon Kaigi Organization-Is It Really a Menace? Japan Business Pessimistic Japan-China Political Ties Sour
FMI’s analyses of this morning’s August International Trade results and September Non-Manufacturing Index
Key points: - TPP, like other FTAs, is copied and pasted from past FTAs - More text from past American FTAs was copied verbatim into TPP than text from any other country; Japan came in eighth - US share was even higher in chapters where it had a high priority, e.g. nearly 80% of text on investment in past US FDI’s was lifted into TPP’s investment chapter - Since TPP is intended to be the template for future FTAs and to incorporate more and more Pacific countries, including China, this gives US big leg up on others