Trade Needs

In an article about, among other things, the People’s Republic of China’s attempt to extort Australia into sitting down and shutting up about the PRC’s role in the Wuhan Virus’ spread across Earth, David Thomas, a consultant who for several decades has advised Australian businesses on investing in the PRC, said this:

The world is going to need China’s capital, manufacturing, and consumption power when this is all over.

That’s so wrong it’s foolish. We’re discovering that now, and after the Wuhan Virus situation has been dealt with from medical and economic perspectives, that we can’t afford to be very economically involved in the PRC.

The size of the PRC’s consumer population would be nice to access, but it’s unaffordable from economic and national security perspectives. The barriers erected to entry into that market are excessively high. The intellectual property and technology transfer demands exacted as a condition of doing business there and the outright theft of those things done not only from the foreign companies extant inside the PRC but from those foreign companies’ home nations are overt threats to security.

The world does not need the PRC’s manufacturing power at all. There are lots of other nations scattered around Asia, Europe, North America, and South America that are fully capable of filling the manufacturing role in place of the PRC, and there are many nations in Africa that are fully capable of developing into viable manufacturing sources.

Nor does the world need the PRC’s capital. Like its consumer market, it would be nice to access some of it, but it will be accessed adequately to the extent the world’s nations sell their goods and services to consumers in the PRC. However, we can’t afford that part of PRC capital that would be used to buy technology-oriented businesses in order to acquire those technologies.

Kerry Stokes, a billionaire mining-equipment and media magnate is just as foolish.

If we’re going to go into the biggest debt we’ve had in our life and then simultaneously poke our biggest provider of income in the eye it’s not necessarily the smartest thing you can do. We are a trading nation. We have nothing else to do but trade[.]

Australia does, indeed, need to trade. But it doesn’t need to trade with an enemy. It does need to change trading partners, and there are a planet-ful of nations that can substitute, individually or in groups, for that enemy.

It’s time for the free nations, the free market nations, of the globe to stop letting themselves be cowed by where their next trade dollar is going to come from and start thinking, instead, about the material and security cost of that dollar and to start thinking about where the trade dollar after the next will come from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *