Us Trade Relationschina — страница 2

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Japan the United States is the most important trading partner, both in exports and in imports. Over a third of Japan s exports go to the United States. This is more than double the share of Japan s exports going to all the European Community countries combined (Ito, page 342). The bilateral trade also benefited the United States greatly by exporting American products to Japan. The United States started selling products to Japan in 1955. The main items sold initially to Japan were industrial machinery, telecommunication and computer equipment, grain, and chemical products. During the early post war period the trade imbalances were mostly favored to the United States in a higher export percentage. As the Japanese started building up their economy at an incredible rate each year, in

return, the export advantage the United States had over Japan has diminished. The Japanese economy had a long path to go until it could begin to match up with the United States level of power. In the early 1950 s the United States accounted for about 45 percent of total global production (including 80 percent of the world s cars), held 43 percent of international reserves, and furnished about 20 percent of global exports (Moon, P. 96). Japan first surpassed the United States in per-capita GNP in 1986, after a long period of rapid growth. The real GNP growth rate of Japan averaged more than 10% per year between 1955 and 1973; it slowed down to an average of 5% per year from 1973 to 1988. As a result, the Japanese economy in 1988 was 9 times its 1955 size (in real GNP). During the

same 33 years, the United States economy grew to 2.67 times its 1955 size, (Ito, page 3). The United States was bigger and stronger to begin with in 1955, which made it harder for the U.S. to double their size. A factor to keep in mind about these facts, the Japanese economy in 1955 was very weak which made the economy easier to increase its total size. Japan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The WTO helps settle disputes, promote economic development, and aid trade flow. The WTO was formed from the GATT agreements. The GATT is an international agreement setting out the rules for conducting international trade (World Trade Organization). Japan has taken full advantage of the WTO free trade agreements by exporting an incredibly high number of goods to foreign

countries. The WTO agreements require equal trade for all countries in the organization. No countries are allowed favoritism or special exceptions. The goal of the WTO is to incorporate a modern free market theory, in which goods must be free to trade in all countries. The WTO has come a long way to help the United States and Japan balance out their trade. The trade tariffs on imports to the United States from Japan used to be as high as 200% in the early 1960 s. Now in the year 2000, the trade tariffs are around 4-6%. This allows for much easier trade for Japan and the United States. The United States is Japan s largest export market for consumer goods. Japan, in turn, has become the largest foreign consumer of American debt. Such developments are pulling these two countries

economies into increasing interdependence, yet injecting serious political tensions into their relations. Dissatisfaction is no longer limited to local producer groups such as Flint, Michigan, autoworkers or Japanese rice farmers that are threatened by the other country s participation in their domestic market. Rather, in both countries their bilateral relations are quickly becoming a thorny political issue (Kernell, P.1). The bilateral trade relations will always be a debated political topic and there isn t a correct or incorrect way to deal with these issues. The United States, with exports constituting only a little over 10 percent of its gross national product (GNP), is less reliant on trade than virtually any other country in the world. Even Japan, with its reputation as a

great trading nation, is much less dependent on trade than any European nation. Despite its shortage of natural resources, the sheer size of Japan s economy, second only to that of the United States, enables it to meet most of its own needs and to consumer most of its own production (Moon, P.3). The signs of trade-induced strain between the United States and Japan are evident in both formal diplomatic relations and in public opinion, with so called Japan-bashing often heard in street corners and in Congress. U.S. complaints center on the bilateral trade deficit with Japan, which has hovered around $50 billion annually since 1985 and which exceeded $65 billion in 1994 (Moon, P. 93). Japan denies fault for the United States deficit in trade. A 1993 poll revealed that 85 percent of