Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who's Winning the Future? Someone's Gotta Keep Score

. Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Now it looks like someone will be. Clyde Prestowitz, former US trade negotiator (among other things), has a new blog dedicated to globalization and trade. Very interesting so far. This is from the introduction:

I hope with this blog to contribute to better understanding of the conflicts and ultimately to contribute to a future of truly win-win globalization for all players. In particular, I'll be watching the strategic trade and industrial policies of Asia and Europe and at how they interact with the more laissez-faire American approach in determining the shape of the future.

My approach will be somewhat contrarian. I am firmly convinced that globalization is not always a win-win proposition, that countries do compete economically, and that there are winners and losers in this competition. So I'll be keeping score. But most importantly, I'll be trying to take my readers beyond the knee jerk orthodoxies and mythologies of globalization to show them what is really happening. I look forward to receiving, learning from, and responding to lots of criticism.

And here is a very good post on the iPhone:

But quick, let me ask you where these iconic Apple products really are made.

If you said China (and I know most of you did), you were wrong, and thereby hang a number of tales. ...

In actuality, says the ADBI, China's assembly of the iPhone parts accounts for only about 3 percent, or $6, of the final value and because China actually imports some of the more expensive parts from the United States, it actually has a deficit on iPhone trade with America. ...

That raises more interesting questions. The other Asian countries [that make part of the iPhone] -- particularly Japan, but also Korea and Taiwan -- do not have low labor costs. Indeed, Japan and Korea are members of the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), the long time rich nations club. Furthermore, the parts they supply for the iPhone -- semiconductor chips, displays, lenses, etc. are not labor intensive. They are capital and, above all, technology intensive. Exactly the kind of products in which the United States is supposed to be the leader. So if America actually did produce the stuff it says it is good at producing, it wouldn't have a trade deficit with Asia for which China is the proxy at all. It would have a trade surplus and 20-40,000 more jobs than it has.

Why then, doesn't America make the stuff it says it ought to be good at making?

I look forward to reading more.

(ht: Art Gibb)


Who's Winning the Future? Someone's Gotta Keep Score




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