Paul Lachine

¿Qué reequilibración?

TOKYO – El economista americano Herbert Stein dijo en cierta ocasión que, si algo no puede continuar para siempre, se interrumpirá. Sin embargo, en el caso de los desequilibrios entre China y Occidente la fecha tope sigue pareciendo muy lejana en el futuro.

Hace cinco años, muchos avisaron de que el exceso de gasto en Occidente y los tipos de cambio infravalorados en Asia estaban produciendo desequilibrios insostenibles. Desde 2005 hasta 2008, el superávit bilateral de China con los Estados Unidos aumentó en un 41 por ciento y su superávit comercial con Europa más que se duplicó. Después de disminuir en 2009, el superávit de China con los EE.UU. y Europa aumentó en un 32 por ciento y un 16 por ciento, respectivamente, en 2010. Alguien que se hubiera quedado dormido en agosto de 2008 y se hubiese despertado en 2010 probablemente nunca habría podido imaginar que había habido interrupción alguna en los desequlibrios en aumento de China con Occidente.

Dichos superávits se originan primordialmente en las redes de producción del Asia oriental. Las grandes empresas multinacionales del Japón, Corea del Sur y otros países envían piezas y componentes complejos a China para su montaje y los reexportan a países desarrollados. La Dirección de Aduanas de China clasifica esa  clase de comercio como de “elaboración”. En 2010, China tuvo déficits de más de 100.000 millones de dólares por el comercio de elaboración con el Asia oriental y superávits de 100.000 millones de dólares con Europa y de 150.000 millones de dólares con los EE.UU. y Hong Kong. En 2010, su superávit con el resto del mundo en comercio de elaboración ascendió a 322.000 millones de dólares.

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