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Since taking office, President Donald Trump has been growling loudly about taking on trade miscreants whose companies’ exports cheat their way into the US market. Soon, he will have to decide how hard to bite. 自从上任以来,美国总统唐纳德?特朗普(Donald Trump)一直叫嚷着要对付那些以欺诈手段将商品出口到美国市场的贸易无赖国家。不久之后,特朗普将需决定要展开多严厉的打击。 Mr Trump’s administration has been threatening for some time to invoke a US law to protect national security to block imports of steel, saying that dependence on imported raw materials threatens US stability. Few doubt that China, his administration’s trade bugbear, is the main target. The decision has been delayed: uNPRecedented warnings from fellow Nato members that such restrictions would threaten their own security perhaps have given the White House some pause. 一段时间以来,特朗普政府一直威胁要动用一项美国法律来保护国家安全,阻止钢铁进口。特朗普政府表示,对进口原材料的依赖威胁到了美国稳定。没有多少人怀疑,在贸易方面最叫特朗普政府头痛的中国正是其主要目标。眼下,特朗普政府已推迟做出决定:北约(Nato)其他成员国发出了前所未有的警告,称这类限制措施将威胁它们自己的安全,也许是这番警告让白宫有些犹豫了。 If the administration cares about preserving open trade and good relations with its allies, it should abandon its plans altogether. Wholesale restrictions on imports of raw materials with a spurious national security justification are economically nonsensical and politically ruinous. 如果特朗普政府重视维持与盟国之间的开放贸易和良好关系,那就应该彻底放弃其计划。假借国家安全的名义对原材料进口加以全面限制,在经济上是荒谬的,在政治上则具有毁灭性。 Standard trade defence instruments like antidumping and countervailing duties, employed against imports deemed unfairly priced or state-subsidised, rarely do more than slow the pace of decline for affected industries. They also create distortions elsewhere, especially for domestic companies that use imported inputs. But they are a settled and legitimate part of the global trading system, their overuse to some extent curtailed by the rules of the World Trade Organization. 常规的贸易防御工具,比如针对被认为定价不公平或得到国家补贴的进口商品实施的反倾销与反补贴关税,多数情况下不过是延缓了受影响行业的衰落速度。它们还在其他方面制造了扭曲,尤其是对于使用进口材料的国内企业来说。但是,它们是世界贸易体系中的一个固定的、合法的部分,它们的滥用在一定程度上受到世贸组织(WTO)规则的制约。 What Mr Trump is contemplating is much more alarming. Although a national security carve-out was written into the WTO’s founding treaty in 1947, it has very rarely been used. There is a good reason for that. Governments have generally recognised that invoking national security to justify trade restrictions is something of a nuclear option. Because the definition is so vague, and because it is politically explosive to accuse another country of scaremongering about its own safety, such a move is more likely to lead to retaliation than conciliation. 特朗普正在盘算的措施就可怕多了。尽管1947年WTO创始条约里写入了一项国家安全例外规定,但该规定很少被用到。这是有充分理由的。各国政府普遍认识到,以维护国家安全之名为实施贸易限制找理由,有些像是一个核选项。因为国家安全的概念是模糊的,也因为谴责另一个国家在其自身安全上危言耸听从政治上来说具有爆炸性,这样的举动更有可能引发报复而非调解。 In reality it is absurd for the US to claim that its defence or infrastructural capabilities are threatened by cheap Chinese steel. There is no global shortage of the commodities, and if the US government needs to secure supply of specialist materials, it can already use its public procurement rules to favour domestic companies. In any case, US antidumping measures imposed in recent years on grounds of unfair competition have already slowed the flow of Chinese steel into the US. The main victims of greater restrictions are likely to be European and Japanese companies. 在现实中,如果美国声称其防务或基础设施能力受到廉价中国钢铁的威胁,那就太荒谬了。目前这种大宗商品并不存在全球短缺局面,而且如果美国政府需要确保特种材料的供应,那么它可以利用其公共采购规则来偏袒国内公司。无论如何,近些年美国以不公平竞争为由实施的反倾销措施,已经阻止了中国钢铁进入美国的速度。如果美国加大限制,主要受害者可能是欧洲和日本的公司。 The move also threatens to harm the whole trading system. The task of judging the claim about national security may well fall to the WTO, assuming another country takes the US to the organisation’s dispute settlement body. This would give the institution an extraordinary dilemma. 此举也可能会伤害全球贸易体系。假如有另一个国家向世贸组织的争端解决机构投诉美国的话,评判国家安全之说是否成立的任务很可能落在世贸组织身上。这将使该机构面临一个非同寻常的难题。 Either a WTO judicial panel rules that the exemption does not contravene its rules, which will open the floodgates to tit-for-tat measures, or it can judge the measures illegal and risk a major rupture with Washington. Mr Trump’s administration is already staffed with sceptics of the WTO. This would give them the opportunity to declare the organisation illegitimate and simply ignore its laws. WTO的司法专家小组要么裁定豁免不违反WTO规则——这将为针锋相对的报复措施打开闸门——要么裁定这些措施不合法,因此可能与美国严重失和。特朗普政府里有一些幕僚本来就对WTO持怀疑态度。这将让他们有机会宣布WTO不合法、干脆忽略其规则。 With one action, Mr Trump threatens to harm the US economy, start an international trade war, alienate America’s allies and undermine the rules-based system that has governed global trade for 70 years. Even by his standards, this would be a mindlessly destructive act. The administration should reverse course forthwith. 只要采取一个动作,特朗普就可能伤害美国经济、打响一场国际贸易战,疏远美国的盟国,并破坏已有70年历史的基于规则的全球贸易体系。即便以他的标准衡量,这也将是一个愚蠢、毁灭性的举动。特朗普政府应当立即改变立场。 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20180213/536568.html