Washington, D.C., partner Elliot Feldman, leader of Baker Hostetler’s international trade practice and an author of the firm’s China-U.S. Trade Law blog, authored a column, "China and the US Must Stop Throwing Stones," which was published in the "Opinion" section of the March 30, 2010, edition of the The Financial Times (中文全文请点击这里).

        According to Feldman, "One of the most troubling features of the growing tension between China and the US is that both countries legitimately have a lot to complain about. It is commonly understood that China and the US have divergent interests. Less understood is that, in the bilateral economic and trade relationship, they usually are complaining about the same things. Both are trying to protect jobs and now seem engaged in a zero-sum game that no one can win. When China and the US criticise each other, each side must realise they are launching their complaints from inside glass houses without regard for their own structural vulnerabilities."

      Feldman continues: "Both China and the US believe the other is attempting to interfere in a free market economy and engage in protectionist practices to the detriment of the other. The US sees too much state direction in the Chinese economy and continues to designate China as a non-market economy, leaving China feeling stigmatised and at an unfair disadvantage in international trade."

        Feldman’s article goes on to provide insight into the countries’ opposing viewpoints and some of the events/actions which have led to the current situation. He concludes: "China and the US should acknowledge the reciprocal nature and legitimacy of each other’s complaints and seek mutual solutions–or such complaints will compound and multiply, and the two countries will grow further apart and more antagonistic. If Beijing and Washington cannot agree to stop throwing stones from inside their glass houses, the great risk to the world is that they will board them up."

The full article, "China and the US Must Stop Throwing Stones," can be viewed on The Financial Times website (free registration required).

        中美间的紧张关系令人担忧,其中一个特点是两国合情合理都有许多可以抱怨的事件。公众都了解中美间存在利益分歧。但是不为人知的一点是,两国在国际贸易和经济领域抱怨相同的内容。两国都试图保护本国就业机会,但现在两国似乎处于零和游戏中,没有一方可以取得胜利。当中美互相指责对方时,他们应当意识到自己站在玻璃房子中向对方发起攻击、忽视自己处于结构性弱势。(美国有句俗语:住在玻璃屋中的人不向邻居扔石头。)

        中美两国都坚信对方试图影响自由市场经济并采取保护性行为使对方处于弱势。美国认为政府指令在中国经济发展中扮演过于重要的角色,因此仍视中国为非市场经济体,使中国感到自己在国际贸易中处于竞争劣势。

         美国认为中国经济是政府指令型经济。她认为中国的省及地方五年计划进一步强化了国家计划。国有企业在中国经济中占主导地位,尤其在钢铁、能源等最重要的经济领域。国有银行控制贷款。税收政策系统性地向某些产业倾斜。同时,向生产商提供能源的也是国有企业。在中国土地亦非私有。最重要的一点是人民币汇率紧跟美元,在国际市场上不能自由兑换。
 

        但中国却不这么认为。国有企业是把利润分配给所有持股人的企业,而这些持股人正是全体中国公民而非少数资本家。董事会掌控这些国有企业,而且这些企业旨在通过竞争获得利润。国家控制的银行旨在确保国家利益,因而避免冲动、不营利且甚至可能威胁国家经济发展的贷款。就业人口是流动的,而且面临竞争。中国认为所有中国公民都是中国经济的股东并不影响他们支持企业间自由竞争。政府发挥董事会的作用。许多观察家认为当前中国和传统资本主义国家一样崇尚金钱。

        从中国的角度来看,美国指责中国为“非市场经济体”或是贸易扭曲型经济是做一套、说一套的伪善表现。美国就像站在玻璃房子中对中国扔石头。2008年雷曼兄弟公司倒闭之后,美国联邦政府在几大银行中拥有很多股权。政府同时掌控了汽车行业。美国国会不断修改税法给予某些行业特别优惠,尤其是较依赖出口的行业。虽然财产私有,但是政府机构决定所有权条款并提供资金。同时美国政府定期干预经济以增加、保证就业机会,管理就业市场,鼓励企业增加就业机会、减少裁员。

        但当中国否认美国的不公平贸易指控时,中国也是从玻璃房子中向对方发起攻击。当中国在美国为自己的行动辩护时,她的行动加强、而非减弱否定其市场经济体地位的指控。中国非但没有表现自己对地方政府及其“计划”和商业行为没有控制,相反北京政府强调所有地方政府、都向其汇报。中国不愿承认在贸易调查中收集美国政府索取的信息有很大难度,但她递交的调查问卷答复却恰恰显示了这一点。北京政府非但没有让私营企业自主选聘律师、捍卫自身利益,反而组织、指挥理应独立的商会参与应诉法律工作。这些行动进一步强化了美国调查者心中中国经济是国有经济、不能被视为市场经济的印象。

       中美两国都不是理想的市场经济体。当130位美国众议员提议因就中国的汇率政策向中国产品征收百分之二十五的附加进口税时;当中国商务部部长警告美国国会行动将引发贸易战时,双方的行动都为世界繁荣带来巨大风险。

(翻译:朱晶)