El diálogo de sordos entre Estados Unidos y China

NUEVA YORK – La visita el 19 de enero del presidente de China, Hu Jintao, se produce en un momento en el que el conflicto económico entre Estados Unidos y China se ha convertido en uno de los acontecimientos globales más preocupantes. A lo largo de este año, Estados Unidos presionó a China para que revaluara el renminbi, mientras que China responsabiliza a la política de “alivio cuantitativo” de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos por la agitación de los mercados monetarios. Ambas partes mantienen un diálogo de sordos, aunque con algunos argumentos validos.

Los desequilibrios globales que estuvieron en la raíz de la crisis económica del 2008 no se corrigieron -de hecho, algunos hasta crecieron-. Estados Unidos sigue consumiendo más de lo que produce, lo que genera un déficit comercial crónico. El consumo se mantiene demasiado alto, en casi el 70% del PBI, comparado con un insosteniblemente bajo 35,6% del PBI en China. Los hogares están excesivamente endeudados y deberían ahorrar más.

La economía de Estados Unidos necesita una mayor productividad, pero las corporaciones estadounidenses, que están operando de manera muy rentable, están acumulando efectivo en lugar de invertirlo –y el alivio cuantitativo está destinado a prevenir la inflación-. En China, en cambio, es preciso frenar el préstamo bancario, pero los esfuerzos regulatorios se vieron afectados por un financiamiento fuera de balance y el desarrollo de un sector cuasibancario informal. La economía está dando señales de sobrecalentamiento.

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