Wilbur Ross Joe Raedle/Getty Images

经济无知会引发贸易战吗?

发自纽约——虽然上任已近百天,美国总统特朗普和他的商务部长威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)却依然在不断宣扬一些大学一年级经济系学生都努力避免的经济学谬误。他们声称美国经常项目赤字(或贸易赤字)是德国/中国这两个经常项目盈余国玩弄不公平贸易手段的表现——但这其实是美国储蓄率低下且不断下降的结果。而他们这种经济学上的无知很可能会招致灾难。

衡量商品,服务贸易,净要素收入和国外汇入款的差额的经常账户余额等同于国民储蓄额减去国内投资额。虽然对该余额的计算存在着国民生产总值(GDP)与国民总收入(GNI)两个数据之间的统计差异,但这不是一个理论,而是一个定义。无论你是自由主义者或保守主义者,民粹主义者或是主流政客,凯恩斯主义者还是供应学派,全部都适用于这一定义。即便特朗普及其所有的交易也都无法改变这一点。但如今他却基于这一反映了美国自身储蓄投资不平衡状况的赤字来威胁要发动贸易战争。

一个国家如果投资额超过储蓄额,就会出现经常项目赤字,反之投资少于储蓄的时候就会产生盈余。对于那些经常账户基本平衡的国家来说,如果投资率上升,储蓄率下降,或是两者同时变化,也会出现赤字。

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