Der Onshoring-Mythos

CAMBRIDGE – Das der Finanzkrise von 2008 vorangegangene Jahrzehnt war durch massive globale Handelsungleichgewichte gekennzeichnet, da die USA große bilaterale Defizite insbesondere gegenüber China aufwiesen. Seit dem Höhepunkt der Krise haben sich diese Ungleichgewichte teilweise umgekehrt. Amerikas Handelsdefizit als Anteil vom BIP ist von seinem Höchstwert im Jahr 2006 von 5,5% auf 3,4% im Jahr 2012 gesunken, und Chinas Überschuss ist während desselben Zeitraums von 7,7% auf 2,8% geschrumpft. Aber ist dies eine vorübergehende Anpassung, oder steht eine langfristige Neugewichtung bevor?

Als Beleg für eine längerfristige Neugewichtung wird vielfach das sogenannte „Onshoring“ angeführt – also die Rückführung von Fertigungskapazitäten amerikanischer Unternehmen, die zuvor Kapazitäten in die Schwellenmärkte verlegt hatten, in die USA. Apple beispielsweise hat neue Werke in Texas und Arizona gegründet, und General Electric plant, die Produktion seiner Waschmaschinen und Kühlschränke nach Kentucky zu verlegen.

Eine Reihe von Indikatoren deuten darauf hin, dass Amerikas Wettbewerbsfähigkeit nach Jahrzehnten des säkularen Niedergangs in der Tat wächst. Während die Arbeitskosten in den Entwicklungsländern gestiegen sind, sind sie in den USA relativ stabil geblieben. Tatsächlich ist der um die Arbeitskosten pro US-Fertigungseinheit bereinigte reale effektive Wechselkurs (REER) seit 2001 um 30% und seit 2005 um 17% gefallen, was eine rapide Erosion des Kostenvorteils der Schwellenmärkte nahe legt, die Amerikas Wettbewerbsfähigkeit einen deutlichen Schub verleiht.

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