Trade wars cut both ways

I see, in the South China Morning Post that “Airbus secured a US$35 billion jet deal from China during a state visit by President Xi Jinping to the French capital, dealing a fresh blow to Boeing as it grapples with the grounding of its bestselling [737-MAX] jet … [and] … China has become the most important market for Airbus and Boeing as its fast-growing middle class spurs demand for travel. While the US company’s order prospects have been complicated by the trade clash, Airbus has bolstered its position with an offer to expand a production line in Tianjin.

Xi Jinping is on a grand tour of Europe where he is taking serious shots at America’s 4896b08a-4fbf-11e9-8617-6babbcfb60eb_image_hires_064154leadership of the West. Even Angela Merkel, the SCMP reports, in a different article, said that the Belt and Road initiative, which bothers (frightens?) President Trump and his new inner circle, is “an important project” in which Europeans want to participate. ““We, as Europeans, want to play an active part and that must lead to a certain reciprocity, and we are still wrangling over that a bit … [Chancellor Merkel said to Xi Jining, and] … “We are seeing the project as a good visualisation of interaction, interrelation and interdependence.”” The “wrangling” seems to have been pretty intense, on both sides of the Atlantic but, at the moment, it appears that China has come out on top.

China needed a win because, as the Financial Times, reports, “Profits at large Chinese industrial companies fell at the fastest pace in almost a decade at the start of 2019, in the latest sign of a slowdown for the world’s second-largest economy. Industrial profits at large-scale Chinese companies in January and February fell 14 per cent year-on-year, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, the largest drop recorded since May 2009 … [and] … Uncertainty caused by the US-China trade war, as well as a government crackdown on China’s high levels of corporate debt, led the country’s economic growth to decline to its slowest annual rate in almost three decades in 2018.

But despite the bad news the same journal opines thatEconomists, political scientists and emerging market pundits have been talking for decades about the coming of the Asian Age, which will supposedly mark an inflection point when the continent becomes the new centre of the world … [but] … Asia is already home to more than half the world’s population. Of the world’s 30 largest cities, 21 are in Asia, according to UN data. By next year, Asia will also become home to half of the world’s middle class, defined as those living in households with daily per capita incomes of between $10 and $100 at 2005 purchasing power parity (PPP) … [and] … Since 2007, http___com.ft.imagepublish.upp-prod-us.s3.amazonawsAsians have been buying more cars and trucks than people in any other region — by about 2030 they will be buying as many vehicles as the rest of the world combined, according to LMC Automotive … [thus, the article asks] … when will the Asian Age actually begin?  … [Just look at this complex graph on the left >  it shows the Financial Times quesstimate of where many of the world’s economies will be in just a few years, relative to the year 2000] … The Financial Times tallied the data, and found that Asian economies, as defined by the UN trade and development body Unctad, will be larger than the rest of the world combined in 2020, for the first time since the 19th century. The Asian century, the numbers show, begins next year. To put this in perspective, Asia accounted for just over a third of world output in 2000.” China, starting with Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, of course, has accounted for most of that growth, and that, especially when combined with Xi Jinping’s new assertiveness, is what bothers so many in the West.

For Canada: Asia matters, and China, especially, matters … Asia matters more than Europe and, someday, soon, it may even matter more than America. Canada needs to repair it relations with almost ALL of Asia: with Australia and Japan, both of which Justin Trudeau offended during the TPP negotiations, with India, which Justin Trudeau also insulted by cozying up to Sikh separatists, with the Philippines, which Justin Trudeau also offended and which is also one of our main source of good, new Canadians, and, above all, with China, with which Justin Trudeau has managed to put Canada on the worst possible footing. In short, Canada’s foreign and trade policies need a complete, total rethink because we have managed to offend the world’s fastest growing economies … Justin Trudeau has taken Canada from being a leading middle power to being something of a bad joke. Our foreign policy revision needs to start with a new prime minister because Justin Trudeau is, quite clearly, not up to the job.

 

 

 

 

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