US Capital building full frame/Flickr

货币操纵的伪装

纽黑文—美国国会为了跨太平洋洋合作伙伴关系( Trans-Pacific Partnership ,总统奥巴马的标志性贸易立法)而吵到不可开交隐显一个重大障碍。5月22日,参议院以微弱多数——51比48——避免了这一障碍成为现实——在授予奥巴马所谓的“快车道”TPP谈判权的立法中不加入“货币操纵”修正条款。但这一问题可能随着争论战场转移到众议院而死灰复燃,在众议院,对“强制性货币规则”的支持十分强大。

至少十年来,国会一直关注货币操纵——指控一些国家刻意干预外汇市场以抑制本币价值,从而补贴出口。2005年,纽约州自由派民主党参议员查尔斯·舒默(Charles Schumer)和南加州保守派共和党参议员林赛·格雷厄姆(Lindsey Graham)组成了一个不可能的联盟,捍卫身陷重围的美国工人免受不公平的竞争手段的影响。他们指出,停止货币操纵能让美国巨大的贸易赤字减小——给困难重重的工人带来持续的真正福利。

十年前,最初的舒默-格雷厄姆提案赤裸裸地针对中国。促使他们提出提案的怒火今天仍然存在——2014年美国的商贸赤字依然巨大,而中国占了其中的47%。自1995年年中以来,人民币兑美元升值了33%,国际货币基金组织(IMF)已不再认为人民币被低估;中国的经常项目盈余占GDP之比也从2007年的10%降低到2014年的2%(估计值)。但这些都不重要。中国仍然是认为美国工人受害于不公平贸易行为的美国政客的眼中钉。

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