23 Mar 2008

US Waging Economic War on China?

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John Mangum argues that the US Government’s failure to strengthen the dollar is a clever and deliberate (and unannounced) gambit in the economic contest between the US and China.

we must ask, why is this happening? Why have the prices of commodities like oil and gold risen so dramatically in the last year? Why has the dollar fallen so much? Normal business cycle? Bad management from the world’s financial institutions? And why hasn’t the world’s largest and strongest economy, backed by the most powerful government, been able to change the course of the situation?

Perhaps the larger picture is that the United States is waging an economic war against China.

The United States could strengthen the value of the dollar. It has not. China is hurt because now Chinese products are very expensive in the United States, and this will reduce the US trade deficit with China. China must import huge amounts of oil and strategic metals which are very much more expensive now. China holds hundreds of millions of physical dollars, the value of which is now much less.

China has refused to revalue its currency to a realistic level to improve its trade position with the United States. China has used its huge dollar reserves as a sword against the United States by threatening to sell those dollars, and thereby causing the dollar to drop in value. In effect, the United States is using China’s strength against China.

In order for China to maintain the levels of its trade with the United States, it will be forced to lower the value of its currency. However, if it does that, it faces two major problems. Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China would become less expensive, and China is worried that more and cheaper FDI would spur China’s inflation. Further, a devalued currency would reduce the profit to China for its exported goods.

If China keeps it currency at its present levels, the United States will buy less. The United States wanted a stronger yuan to reduce trade, which China was unwilling to do. That objective is now achieved by a weaker dollar.

China’s dollar holdings are worth much less when buying goods like oil and metals that China depends on for its development and growth. Further, China has been talking and trying for some time to diversify its foreign-reserve holdings form dollars to other currencies and gold. Now, their dollars are worth much less when buying gold, yen and euros. …

the “crisis” is being used to further the US economic position, long-term position, particularly with regard to China. From Sun Tzu: “All warfare is based on deception.”

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