Trouble blocking the "Made in China" logo when cheering Trump

Trump Yiwu

kegongliliang· 2020-01-05 17:52:33

[Text / Bernhard Sander, senior correspondent of Der Spiegel in Germany, translator / Observer Network Wu Shouzhe]

Li Jiang (Li Jiang) is a special banner in Yiwu, Zhejiang Businessman with small flag business. He usually receives orders from a large number of loyal customers in China. In addition, many European football clubs cooperate with him to produce various logos and promotional flags. For him, he is most proud of receiving a big order from the United States: about the 2020 US election. The store has various flags printed with Trump campaign slogans and head portraits. "There are three best-selling flags," he said, "with Trump 2020 printed on top of sales, second is' Make American Great Again ', and third is' No more Bullshit '(No more bullshit). "

Li Jiang stuck Trump stickers on the back of the phone case that he just changed. On the sticker, with New York's tall buildings in the background, Trump stood on a tank with a machine gun in his hand and a turban similar to Rambo in his head.

The countless props in the US presidential election come from China. Li Jiang's business is only a very small part of it. He admits that the new round of US election campaigns is not as good as 2016 in China. He said: "It was so lively in 2016 that at least 10,000 pieces of flags with different slogans could be sold." However, orders at the end of this year are only half of the end of 2016. Li Jiang feels that this may be related to the Sino-US trade friction not long ago.

Yiwu, a small city with a population of only one million, is located in the most central part of Zhejiang Province. It takes just over three hours to drive to Shanghai. This city is constantly exporting a large number of goods printed with "Made in China" (Made in China) to the world, Christmas trees, Christmas umbrellas, toy cars, rigs, handbags, slippers and other small gifts. .

Li Jiang shows the author of this Trump Publicity flag (@ 明镜 周刊)

Lijiang's goods store number 54 in Yiwu International Trade City, this trade city fully accommodates at least 50,000 stalls. It is a bit of an understatement to describe this 54 as an international commercial bank. If the two diagonal corners of this commercial building can be drawn in a line, the length of the line is more than 3,000 meters, and the commercial building is five stories high. It takes a full day to browse every item on the container in a commercial building.

This is Yiwu, where you can smell the forefront of gunpowder between China and the United States in trade frictions, and you can also capture the ambition of China's manufacturing industry to become the number one in the world.

If you calculate the trade volume of Yiwu's exports to the United States this year, it seems that this number is good for Trump: November ’s export volume fell by 25% compared with the same period last year, and it was the eighth consecutive month of decline. If the trade volume between last year and this year is subtracted, this figure is about 10 billion US dollars.

Because of the impact of tariffs, many manufacturers in the manufacturing sector have to sell their goods at reduced prices. An important indicator of a country's manufacturing industry is the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). China's PMI has not risen significantly since June.

However, the interpretation of these numbers cannot be too general and general. If they are specifically taken into account, they are quite "magic". If the above situation occurs in other countries, not only the commerce and trade sector and the manufacturing industry will be greatly affected, it is also likely to cause workers and political panic. But China ’s economy is not as fragile as it is reported in Western media, partly because China ’s economic base is too large, and partly because China is undergoing economic transformation.

Yiwu Small Commodity City (Photo by @CNN Richard John Seymour)

China's total export trade in 2018 was 234.2 billion US dollars, which is more than double the amount in 2006, but the proportion of exports in the total economic volume dropped from 35% in 2006 to 18%. By comparison, the figure in Germany is 40%. At present, China's share of China's foreign exports is only 20%, and the portion exported to the United States is converted into China's total economic volume, which is less than 4%.

A similar phenomenon has occurred in China's labor market. The number of laborers in Chinese cities is 570 million, which has been reduced by 2 million due to negative factors such as the trade war. In contrast, this figure has very limited influence. And many people have overlooked that from January to August, there were at least 10 million new jobs in China, and by the end of the year, it was not a problem to complete the 11 million planned at the beginning of the year.

The Sino-U.S. trade friction does pose a challenge to China's economy, but it is far from being an economic crisis.

The bar chart on the left is the import and export trade between China and the United States Compared with the same period of last year, exports fell by 23% in November. The histogram on the right shows that as of November, China ’s total export trade to the world has increased by 2.26% (data source: China Bureau of Statistics)

The China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) held in Guangzhou is currently the largest and best-selling international trade show in mainland China. It has the reputation of "the world's workshop", and there are a wide range of goods at the exhibition: electronics, Curtains, auto parts, hiking shoes, LED lights, and adult diapers. Every fall, there is a three-week Canton Fair with more than 60,000 booths.

At the Canton Fair in early November this year, the mood of the exhibitors was a bit different, especially for businessmen who mainly export to the United States. Sheng Qiyuan, a textiles business, said: "We are showing a wide range of kitchen aprons at the Canton Fair." Each one costs about $ 1.07. If Sheng Qiyuan's apron is only exported, one third will be exported to the United States and two thirds will be exported to Europe. However, if it is exported to the United States, each customs package must pay a 10% punitive tariff, he said : "This year's orders from the United States are only half of last year."

An Englishman named Ola Ayodele also set up a booth at the Canton Fair. He said that "TT" (Note: Trump Tax) has affected his business. too big. Ayo Dailer has long focused his career on China. He is mainly responsible for exporting various types of footwear to Europe and the United States. The business is very large. The entire industry chain counts about 5 million pairs of shoes every year: "I want to make shoes Businesses like this still have to come to China, and of all the countries in the world, only China can produce so many good and cheap shoes. "

A businesswoman from Shanghai, whose English name is Tina, is doing For the hard plastic luggage business, last year's export value was 38 million US dollars, which is similar to domestic sales. "However, this year's export value is 3 million US dollars less," she said.

Bernhard Sander, the author of this article, recorded a short video on the scene of the Canton Fair.

Everyone is complaining, but everyone is actively exploring. New ideas. Sheng Qiyuan said: "Our goal is to open more European markets." Ayo Dailer said: "We decided to put a part of production in Myanmar and then export to North America to avoid US tariffs." Tina Decided to focus on domestic sales and increase the proportion of domestic sales from 50% to 70%: "Focus on the domestic market and reduce dependence on exports."

It seems that Trump launched a trade war The wishful thinking is about to fail. He forced the Chinese government to consider longer-term economic planning: reducing dependence on exports, expanding and stimulating domestic consumption, and labor-intensive low-end jobs being replaced by more skilled and higher-paying jobs.

The trade friction between China and the United States lasted for about a year and a half. At first, the United States seemed particularly aggressive, but looking at the whole process, Trump's implementation of the policy appeared somewhat inconsistent. The people have also been changing, and it is difficult for the outside world to determine who really exerted influence on him, whether it was Stephen Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary with a Wall Street background, or Lighthizer, a trade war planner who is a calculation Or is it the economic hawk, Peter Navarro, who claims to reshape the world economic order.

July 2018-August 2019, Medium U.S. trade friction escalates: U.S. tariffs on China have risen from 34% to 300%, and China has countered, rising from 34% to 75%

Maybe this is why every few weeks Trump needs to Overturning the formulated economic policy towards China, for example, he once put Huawei and ZTE on the "blacklist" in the name of national security, followed by seemingly compassion, saying that sanctions against ZTE gave "numbers" Millions have lost their jobs "and sanctions on the company have been relaxed. On December 14, China and the United States reached an agreement on the text of the first phase of the agreement. Behind this, perhaps Trump's side has played a role in helping the moderates in China.

If Trump's capricious economic planning is to disrupt global markets, he has indeed achieved his goal. However, the side effects he brought to the United States are very obvious: the mature industrial chain that was painstakingly operated in the past ten or even decades was interrupted, and local consumers had to bear higher payment costs because of trade frictions, and because of repeated tariffs With the rise and fall, the US fiscal and taxation system has to become extremely unstable along with it, and the Secretary of Economy has to take over a mess that requires various patches.

China and the United States have reached agreement on the text of the first phase of the agreement, which also shows that Trump still has a clear businessman thinking instead of a mindless "dragon slayer". It is unclear to what extent the easing of Sino-US trade relations will affect Trump's re-election, because it depends on how hard he and his opponents ’opponents screamed for him, whether to abandon him or still follow him? Of course, the flags shaking in Trump's ticket warehouses are marked Made in China. It is not only Washington and New York that are closely watching the situation in the US elections, but also Yiwu, China.

The lastest articles of kegongliliang

Trouble blocking the "Made in China" logo when cheering Trump

Why Chinese characters in the code can block CIA