Friday, February 24, 2012

Brazil seeks access in Chinese market

Brazil recently was in the news for raising the pitch on "protectionism". I had blogged about this in a couple of blogposts here.

BBC reported here that Brazil was seeking more market access to China.
"Brazil has asked China to allow more of its manufactured goods in to the Chinese market as it seeks to tap into the country's growing economy.
The call comes as Brazil's trade surplus with China has been rising, hitting $11.5bn (£7bn) last year.
Brazil has also asked China to reduce its exports amid concerns that the influx of low-cost Chinese goods was hurting its manufacturing sector.
China is Brazil's biggest trading partner."
Brazil and China are strong trading partners. While raising the import tariffs on auto imports Brazil justified it as a protection of its domestic players against a surge of imports. While seeking access in China, the arguments have turned. While this can be viewed as a normal trade policy strategy to further one's domestic industry, it brings to the fore contradictory stands taken by countries in different situations. While the local economy is hurt due to competitive imports, free trade and WTO are seen as institutions endangering domestic economies.On the other hand, when domestic products need market access internationally, the virtues of free trade and multilateralism are espoused. This oscillation is fine as long as it is within the confines of one's WTO obligations. Contravening WTO obligations when it suits one's interests while demanding adherence from others would not be a respected strategy. 

This contradiction is brilliantly brought out by Peter Mandelson in the New Statesman here,
"Because globalisation itself is not really the problem. The pre-globalised world was not a secure and egalitarian paradise. Every politician who has ever uttered the words "export-led recovery" has acknowledged the reality that Britain and Europe need to sell to global markets to prosper. Our huge European single market and the growing markets of the emerging world are critical to our economic future.
However, you cannot realistically be pro-exports but anti-imports in an international economy built on global supply chains, as much of what we import we transform into goods that we then sell abroad. Every politician who has ever worried about the cost of living must have noticed that international production models have lowered the costs of the basics of life to levels that have no precedent in economic history."
A more detailed analysis of the approach to the present challenges of globalisation is found in the The Third Wave of Globalisation about which I blogged here

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