Paul Lachine

Chine-USA : un rééquilibrage inévitable

TOKYO – L'économiste américain Herbert Stein a dit un jour que si une situation ne peut durer éternellement, nul besoin de prendre des mesures pour y mettre fin, car elle va évoluer d'elle-même. Mais dans le cas des déséquilibres commerciaux entre la Chine et l'Occident, ce moment semble encore loin.

Il y a déjà 5 ans, on pouvait entendre un cri d'alarme : les dépenses excessives de l'Occident et la sous-évaluation des devises asiatiques produiront des déséquilibres intenables ! Entre 2005 et 2008, l'excédent commercial de la Chine a augmenté de 41% avec les USA et de plus de 200% avec l'Europe. Après avoir diminué en 2009, il a augmenté de 32% et 16% respectivement avec l'Europe et les USA. Quelqu'un qui se serait endormi en août 2008 pour se réveiller en 2010 ne réaliserait pas qu'il y a eu ce décrochage. 

Cet excédent est dû à l'exportation de pièces produites en Asie de l'Est. Des multinationales installées au Japon, en Corée du Sud et ailleurs exportent des composants de haute technologie en Chine où ils sont assemblés avant d'être réexportés vers les pays développés. La douane chinoise qualifie cela de commerce d'assemblage ou "processing trade". Dans ce secteur, en 2010, la Chine connaissait un déficit supérieur à 100 milliards de dollars avec l'Asie de l'Est, un excédent de 100 milliards de dollars avec l'Europe et de 150 millions de dollars avec les USA et avec Hong Kong.  En 2010 son excédent global dans le commerce d'assemblage s'élevait à 322 milliards de dollars.

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