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O presente de Trump para a China

NOVA IORQUE – As ameaças proteccionistas do Presidente dos EUA, Donald Trump, contra a China suscitaram uma elevada dose de preocupação. Se Trump cumprir as suas promessas na íntegra e, por exemplo, declarar oficialmente que a China manipula moeda ou decidir aumentar as tarifas aduaneiras, as consequências a curto prazo — que incluem uma guerra comercial — poderão ser graves. No entanto, a longo prazo, uma transição para o proteccionismo por parte dos Estados Unidos poderia constituir uma bênção disfarçada para a China.

Não há dúvidas de que a China atravessa uma fase difícil no seu desenvolvimento. Após três décadas em que o PIB regista um crescimento de dois dígitos — uma realização com poucos paralelos históricos — o ritmo da expansão económica da China abrandou substancialmente. A combinação do aumento dos custos de mão-de-obra e da diminuição da procura de exportações chinesas reduziu o crescimento anual do PIB da China para 6,9% em 2015 e 6,7% no ano passado. O governo chinês reduziu agora para 6,5%-7% a sua meta de crescimento para o período de 2016-2020.

Continua a ser um ritmo respeitável; mas não é o melhor que China poderia conseguir. Segundo observaramJustin Yifu Lin e Asa Thye Woo em 1951, quando rendimento per capita do Japão em comparação com o dos EUA era igual ao que a China apresenta hoje, o Japão registava um crescimento contínuo de 9,2%.

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