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美国沃顿商学院院长:贸易战的实质是决定创新的未来

2018-04-17

The escalation of tariffs between China and the United States is haunting the financial markets. “Manageable, orchestrated trade skirmishes” is probably the right description. But “trade war” is so much better a headline.


Either way, what is really going on is not about trade; it is about who will lead global innovation in the 21st century. Think less steel, soybeans, and solar panels, and more electric vehicles, self-driving cars, and artificial intelligence.


中美之间关税的升级正在困扰着金融市场。“可控的、精心策划的贸易冲突”可能是正确的描述。但“贸易战”这个标题要好得多。

不管是哪种方式,真正发生的不是贸易问题,而是21世纪谁将领导全球创新。不是考虑钢铁、大豆和太阳能电池板(的问题),而更多(考虑)的是电动汽车、自动驾驶汽车和人工智能。


The electoral incentives are clear for the Trump administration to talk up links between wages and jobs and the mushrooming of America’s trade deficit with China over the past 15 years.


But the administration’s much bigger concern is China’s very real challenge to American global dominance in the innovation economy. Rising power vs. incumbent power normally refers to the growing military competition between China and the U.S. But it also describes rising Sino-American competition over the future of innovation.


对特朗普政府来说,选举动机很明显是在宣扬工资和就业之间的联系(机会),以及过去15年中美国对华贸易逆差(带来的)激增。

但更大的担忧是,中国对美国在创新经济中的全球主导地位构成了实实在在的挑战。崛起中的大国与现任大国通常指的是中美之间日益激烈的军事竞争,但同时也描述了中美两国对创新未来的日益激烈的竞争。


Consider some facts. China has laid down more high-speed rail lines than the rest of the world combined. Mobile payments in China are 50 times as large as in the U.S. Last year, more electric vehicles were sold in China than in the rest of the world, and more than twice as many industrial robots were in use in China than in the U.S.


Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are firmly entrenched in the top 10 companies in the world by market capitalization. They were joined a couple of years ago by two Chinese companies—Alibaba and Tencent—that continued to climb up the standings.


Over the period 2012-2016, Goldman Sachs estimates that total AI investment in the U.S. were about $18 billion, compared with only $2 billion in China—big advantage to America. But by 2020 China intends to invest about $150 billion in AI—looming enormous advantage to China.


考虑一些事实,中国修建的高铁线路比世界其他国家加起来还要多,中国的移动支付是美国的50倍。去年,中国销售的电动汽车数量比世界其他地区多,而在中国使用的工业机器人是美国的两倍多。

苹果(Apple)、亚马逊(Amazon)、Facebook、谷歌(Google)和微软(Microsoft)在全球市值排名前十的公司中地位稳固。两年前,阿里巴巴(Alibaba)和腾讯(Tencent)这两家中国公司加入进来,继续攀升。

高盛(GoldmanSachs)估计,2012至2016年间,人工智能在美国的总投资约为180亿美元,而在中国仅为20亿美元--这是对美国的巨大优势。但到2020,中国打算在人工智能领域投资约1,500亿美元--这对中国来说是一个巨大的优势。


There is no doubt that most of the best new underlying technology continues to come out of the U.S. Realistically, it will take China many years, probably decades, to change this.


But the ability of China to adopt and adapt American technology, and to do so at warp speed and massive scale, is extraordinary. If the definition of innovation is turning ideas into outcomes, China is already an innovation economy.


This is what the Trump administration is really worried about. Dig just below the surface of “trade war” tweets, and the administration’s focus on China and the future of innovation is apparent.


毫无疑问,大多数最好的新技术仍然来自美国。实际上,中国需要很多年甚至几十年的时间才能改变这种状况。

但是,中国采用和适应美国技术的能力,以及以扭曲速度和大规模效应的能力,是非同寻常的。如果创新的定义是将观念转化为结果,那么中国已经是一个创新经济。

这正是特朗普政府真正担心的问题。挖掘一下所谓的“贸易战”推特的表面,美国政府对中国和创新未来的关注是显而易见的。


The U.S. Trade Representative report on which the new tariffs are based is entitled, “China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.” Nothing about steel or manufacturing jobs.


This report then justifies actions against China based on a powerful but controversial provision of Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act, which allows the President to take essentially any actions he sees fit against “acts, policies or practices that are unreasonable or discriminatory and that burden or restrict U.S. Commerce.”


新关税所依据的美国贸易代表报告题为“中国在技术转让、知识产权和创新方面的行为、政策和做法”。并没有关于钢铁或制造业的工作。

这份报告根据1974美国贸易法第301号条款的一项有力但有争议的条款为针对中国的行动辩护,该条款允许总统对“不合理或歧视性的行为、政策或做法,以及对美国商业造成负担或限制的行为、政策或做法”采取任何他认为适当的行动。


This raises three big questions:


1.Is China behaving “unreasonably” to restrict U.S. commerce with respect to the innovation economy?


There is no doubt that the Chinese government has an active “industrial policy” to transform its economy from a low cost assembler and manufacturer into a global leader in the cutting edge industries of the 21st century. This is the core of Xi Jinping’s ambition for China.


In the past, the U.S. government has complained that government investment creates “unfair competition” in global markets—for example, the muscle European governments have used to help Airbus take on Boeing. But that is not the U.S.’s main beef with China.


Instead, the U.S. is arguing that China unfairly regulates the conditions under which American firms can operate in China—with good reason. There is no doubt that the Chinese government regulates what American firms do in China, with a view both to protecting domestic firms and to ensuring that Chinese companies get access to leading-edge American intellectual property.


这就引出了三大问题:

1.中国在创新经济方面限制美国商业的行为是否“不合理”?

毫无疑问,中国政府采取了积极的“产业政策”,将其经济从低成本组装和制造业转变为21世纪尖端产业的全球领先者。这是习近平认为的中国雄心(产业升级 编者按)的核心力量。

过去,美国政府曾抱怨称,政府投资在全球市场造成了“不公平竞争”--例如,欧洲政府曾帮助空客对抗波音公司。但这并不是美国对中国的主要抱怨。

相反,美国辩称,中国对美国公司在华经营的条件进行了不公平的监管--这是有充分理由的。毫无疑问,中国政府监管美国公司在中国的做法,目的在于保护国内企业,确保中国企业获得美国领先的知识产权。


My economics training tells me it does not matter “who wins” in innovation, because the whole world will benefit from more innovation no matter where it comes from.


Consider, for example, the 15-year-old joint venture between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation that has resulted in GM’s selling more vehicles today in China than it does in America. This has been great for GM’s bottom line. But it has also increased the probability that China will soon have its own global auto company (not necessarily SAIC) that will compete head-to-head with GM inside and outside China. All the more likely given China’s enormous investments in electric and self-driving vehicles.


Would American firms like to have unfettered access to the Chinese market? Would they prefer not to have to enter joint ventures with Chinese firms? Are they worried that “tech transfer” in China sometimes takes the form of intellectual property theft?


Yes, to all three questions. This is just not the way the free market is supposed to operate. But the Chinese government says it has the right to regulate its own market, and it is improving intellectual property protections all the time. That is why China says what the U.S. is doing is unfair, and why its own retaliation is justified, focusing on industries like farming that might hurt Trump’s Republicans at the ballot box in November.


我的经济学训练告诉我,在创新中“谁赢”并不重要,因为无论创新来自何方,全世界都将从更多的创新中受益。

举个例子,通用汽车和上海汽车工业公司成立了15年的合资企业,使通用汽车今天在中国的汽车销量超过了在美国的销量。这对通用汽车的利润来说是非常好的。但这也增加了中国很快将拥有自己的全球汽车公司(不一定是上汽)与通用汽车在中国的国内外进行正面竞争的可能性。考虑到中国在电动和自动驾驶汽车方面的巨额投资,这种可能性就更大了。

美国公司愿意不受限制地进入中国市场吗?他们是否更愿意与中国公司建立合资企业?他们是否担心中国的“技术转让”有时会以窃取知识产权的形式出现?

是的,三个问题。这并不是自由市场应该采取的运作方式。但中国政府表示,它有权监管自己的市场,并且一直在改善知识产权保护。这就是为什么中国说美国正在做的事情是不公平的,也是为什么中国自己的报复是合理的,把重点放在农业这样的行业上,这些行业可能会在11月份的投票中伤害特朗普的共和党人。


2.Is the U.S. justified in retaliating with trade sanctions against China?


The Chinese government says “no.” So, too, might the World Trade Organization, which has repeatedly questioned the legality of Section 301 because it makes the U.S. judge and jury in its disputes with other countries—when this is exactly the job the WTO was created to do.


Even though the U.S. was the prime mover behind the creation of the WTO, it has always wanted to insist that it is above the international law, at least with respect to the powers it gave itself in the 1974 Trade Act, two decades before the creation of the WTO. All the more so in Trump’s America.


This rules out at least two pathways to resolving the current dispute between China and the U.S. The U.S. will defend its right to act under Section 301. China will not appeal to the WTO to rule against the U.S. Instead, both countries will take matters into their own hands—that is exactly what has happened this year.


2.。美国有理由对中国实施贸易制裁吗?

中国政府拒绝了。世界贸易组织(World Trade Organization)也是如此。该组织曾多次质疑301条款的合法性,因为它让美国在与其他国家的争端中担任法官和陪审团--而这正是世贸组织成立的目的。

尽管美国是创建世贸组织的原动力,但它一直想坚持自己凌驾于国际法之上,至少就它在1974贸易法案(1974 TradeAct)中赋予自己的权力而言,在世界贸易组织成立前的20年里是如此。在特朗普治下的美国更是如此。

这至少排除了解决中美争端的两条途径。美国将捍卫其根据第301条采取行动的权利,中国不会呼吁世贸组织做出不利于美国的裁决。相反,两国将自行解决问题--这正是今年发生的事情。


3.    Where will it end?


In the past, I have argued that it is best to view things like trade spats between China and the U.S. as well-choreographed theater designed to appease domestic political audiences without threatening the underlying big economic win-wins between the two countries. It is easy to fit “steel for soybeans” tit-for-tat tariffs into that frame.


But the stakes are much higher where the future of innovation is concerned. My economics training tells me it does not matter “who wins” in innovation, because the whole world will benefit from more innovation no matter where it comes from. Moreover, it is clear that the U.S. and China are complementary where innovation is concerned—the U.S. has a comparative advantage in incubating innovation; China’s comparative advantage is scaling it. This makes cooperation so much better than conflict.


The problem with this thinking in the current situation is that the economic competition bleeds quickly over into concerns about military/security competition—and the rising power (China) vs incumbent power (U.S.) dynamic more generally. Cyber security is an obvious example. The same technologies that make industrial espionage possible and increase worries about personal data security are also increasingly the backbone of the 21st century military. In fact, most modern technology falls under the “dual use” rubric—important both to commerce and to security.


3.它会在哪里结束?

在过去,我曾说过最好的方式是观看中国和美国之间的贸易争端,和精心设计的戏码,目的是安抚国内的政治观众,同时又不威胁两国之间潜在的巨大经济双赢。很容易将“大豆用钢”针锋相对的关税纳入这一框架。

但就创新的未来而言,风险要高得多。我的经济学训练告诉我,在创新中“谁赢”并不重要,因为无论创新来自何方,全世界都将从更多的创新中受益。此外,在创新方面,美国和中国显然是互补的--美国在孵化创新方面具有比较优势;中国的比较优势是扩大创新规模。这使得合作比冲突好得多。

在当前形势下,这种想法的问题在于,经济竞争迅速演变为对军事/安全竞争的担忧,而崛起中的大国(中国)与在位大国(美国)之间的关系则更为普遍。网络安全就是一个明显的例子。同样的技术,使工业间谍成为可能,并增加了对个人数据安全的担忧,也日益成为21世纪军事的支柱。事实上,大多数现代技术属于“双重用途”范畴--对商业和安全都很重要。


Put it all together, and China-U.S. competition over innovation is here to stay. I do not expect the current trade tensions to spiral out of control—the potential for major damage to the economies of both countries, and to the global economy, is just too great. But even if Trump and Xi continue to emulate their predecessors in managing down their tensions, the underlying struggle over who will win the battle for global pre-eminence in innovation will only intensify. Calling it a trade war is not only misleading. It is also an understatement of what is really going on between the two most powerful countries in the world.


综合起来,中美在创新方面的竞争就会持续下去。我不认为目前的贸易紧张局势会失控--对两国经济和全球经济造成重大损害的可能性实在太大了。但即使特朗普和习近平继续效仿他们的前任来缓和紧张局势,围绕谁将在创新领域赢得全球领先地位的潜在斗争也只会加剧。称其为贸易战不仅具有误导性。这也是对世界上两个最强大的国家之间的真实情况的低估。




Geoffrey Garrett is Dean, Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, and Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

杰弗里·加勒特(GeoffreyGarrett)是宾夕法尼亚大学沃顿商学院(Wharton School)院长、管理与私营企业信赖教授和管理学教授。

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