WASHINGTON — President Trump is confident that the United States is winning its trade war with China. But on both sides of the Pacific, a bleaker recognition is taking hold: The world’s two largest economies are in the opening stages of a new economic Cold War, one that could persist long after Mr. Trump is out of office.
华盛顿——特朗普总统相信美国正在赢得与中国的贸易战。但在太平洋两岸,一种更为悲观的认识正在占据上风:世界上最大的两个经济体正处于新的经济冷战的开始阶段,它可能在特朗普离任后,还会持续很长时间。
“This thing will last long,” Jack Ma, the billionaire chairman of Alibaba Group, warned a meeting of investors on Tuesday in Hangzhou, China. “If you want a short-term solution, there is no solution.”
“它将持续很长时间,”阿里巴巴集团亿万富翁董事长马云周二在中国杭州的一个投资者会议上警告。“想在短期内解决是不可能的。”
Mr. Trump ratcheted up his trade fight this week, imposing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatening to tax nearly all imports from China if it dared to retaliate. His position has bewildered, frustrated and provoked Beijing, which has responded with its own levies on American goods.
特朗普于本周加大了贸易战力度,对价值2000亿美元的中国商品征收关税,并威胁如果中国敢于报复,就将对几乎所有从中国进口的商品征税。他的立场令北京感到困惑、沮丧和愤怒,北京已对美国商品征税作为回应。
The diplomatic stalemate has many in the business and policy communities considering the possibility that the United States may be in a protracted and economically damaging trade fight for years to come and wondering what, if anything, America will gain.
外交上的僵局令商界和政策界的许多人认为,美国可能在未来几年内陷入一场旷日持久、损害经济的贸易战,他们想知道美国能获得什么好处,如果有好处的话。
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Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister of Australia and an expert on China, said 2018 signaled “the beginnings of a war of a different type: a trade war, an investment war and a technology war between the two great powers of the 21st century, with an uncertain landing point.”
澳大利亚前总理、中国问题专家陆克文(Kevin Rudd)表示,2018年预示着“一场有着不同形式的战争开始了:贸易战、投资战,以及21世纪两个大国之间的科技战,落点尚不确定”。
The latest tit-for-tat leaves little room for concessions, at least in the interim, as both countries dig in their heels and China tries to remain strong, despite an economic softening that Mr. Trump clearly sees as an opening to force Beijing’s hand.
双方最新的针锋相对几乎没有留下让步空间,至少在过渡阶段是如此,两国的立场都很坚定。中国试图保持强势,尽管它的经济处于疲软状态,特朗普显然认为这是一个强迫北京就范的时机。
Chinese growth in investment, factory production and consumer spending have all slowed this year, and its economic growth has slowed alongside. The situation is expected to worsen as effects of the escalating American tariffs ramp up.
中国今年的投资、工厂生产和消费支出的增长都在放缓,其经济增长也随之放缓。随着不断升级的美国关税的影响加剧,预计情况还将进一步恶化。
While the United States made overtures toward China in recent days to talk trade in Washington this month, some officials said they now doubted Beijing would engage again at a high level until after the midterm elections in November, when President Xi Jinping may meet Mr. Trump on the sidelines of an economic summit meeting in Buenos Aires.
虽然美国近几天向中国提出了在华盛顿举行贸易谈判的提议,但一些官员表示,他们现在怀疑北京在11月中期选举之前是否会派遣高级官员参加,届时习近平主席可能会在布宜诺斯艾利斯举行的经济首脑会议期间会见特朗普。
Mr. Trump himself seemed to dangle the prospect that he, and he alone, could broker a resolution that threatened to cause economic pain to companies and consumers on both sides of the Pacific.
特朗普本人似乎在表明,他能单枪匹马促成一项可能给太平洋两岸的企业和消费者带来经济痛苦的决议。
“Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection,” Mr. Trump said in his statement announcing the tariffs.
 “希望这个贸易形势最终能由我和中国的习主席解决,我对他怀有敬意和好感,” 特朗普在宣布关税的声明中说。
Yet it is not clear that either side will see a reason to back down. Aides to Mr. Trump say the president believes that the United States has the upper hand on China, with an ability to impose tariffs on a far larger number of goods than the Chinese can match given that America imports far more than it exports. And while the tariffs are unpopular with Republican lawmakers, farmers and manufacturers, his trade approach remains popular with his political base.
但双方是否会有让步的理由,目前尚不清楚。特朗普的助手说,总统认为美国占据上风,因为美国的进口远远超过出口,所以能够对大量商品征收关税,远比中国拿出来对抗的商品多。虽然关税不受共和党立法者、农民和制造商的欢迎,但他的贸易方式仍然受到其政治基本盘的欢迎
特朗普总统11月在北京与中国国家主席习近平会晤。 据分析人士称,向特朗普让步对习近平将是一种软弱的表现。
特朗普总统11月在北京与中国国家主席习近平会晤。 据分析人士称,向特朗普让步对习近平将是一种软弱的表现。 Doug Mills/The New York Times
The Chinese side has its own political reasons to avoid capitulation. Acceding to Mr. Trump would be considered a sign of weakness for Mr. Xi, according to analysts.
中方有自己的政治原因避免投降。分析人士称,向特朗普让步将被视为习近平服软的表现。
And they see no sign that China is willing to give up on Made in China 2025, an industrial program that aims for dominance in robotics, artificial intelligence, and other high tech industries that have been the domain of the United States and Europe and that Mr. Trump has identified as a policy initiative that must be stopped.
他们也看不到表明中国愿意放弃《中国制造2025》的迹象,这是一个旨在争夺机器人、人工智能以及其他高科技产业领域主宰地位的工业项目,这些产业一直是美国和欧洲的领域。特朗普已经确定,这一政策倡议必须制止。
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While Chinese officials have expressed a willingness to get rid of the name Made in China 2025, they have been much more cautious about accepting limits on some of the crucial features of the country’s industrial policy, like big loans from state-owned banks at very low interest rates to favored industries.
虽然中国官员表示愿意丢掉《中国制造2025》这个名称,但是要接受对该国产业政策一些关键特征的限制,例如国有银行以极低的利率向受到青睐的行业发放大额贷款,他们就显得更为谨慎了。
Inside the White House, there remains a pitched battle between those who want to make a deal with Beijing and those who are determined to keep piling on pressure to force a more radical change in its trade practices. At the moment, the hard liners have Mr. Trump’s ear.
在白宫内部,希望与北京达成协议的人与决心继续施压、迫使其贸易行为发生更激进变革的人之间,仍存在激烈争斗。目前,强硬派得到了特朗普的支持。
“You would expect the administration to have tabled a negotiating text with a clear set of commitments, but that has apparently not been done,” said Daniel M. Price, a former trade adviser to President George W. Bush. “There are some in the administration who see tariffs as an end in themselves.”
“你会期望政府拿出一份谈判文本,里面列出了一系列明确承诺,但政府显然没有这么做,”曾给乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)总统担任贸易顾问的丹尼尔·M·普莱斯(Daniel M. Price)表示, “政府中有些人认为,关税本身就是目的。”
Mr. Price said the Trump administration had done a good job of cataloging China’s abuses: theft of intellectual property, forced transfer of technology from foreign companies, predatory joint venture agreements. But it has failed to marshal a coalition to confront China, instead provoking separate trade fights with the European Union, Japan, Canada and Mexico by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum and threatening additional taxes on imported cars.
普莱斯表示,特朗普政府在为中国不当行为分类方面做得很好:窃取知识产权、强制外国公司转让技术、掠夺性合资协议。但它未能组织一个联盟来对抗中国,而是通过对钢铝征收关税以及威胁对进口汽车征收额外税收,引发与欧盟、日本、加拿大和墨西哥的单独贸易争端。
“Doing this without the E.U. and Japan fully on board as though Chinese unfair trade practices were only a bilateral problem is wrongheaded and certainly less effective,” he said. “But it’s very hard to galvanize your allies when you impose steel and aluminum tariffs on them and threaten auto tariffs.”
“在没有欧盟和日本充分参与的情况下这么做,好像中国的不公平贸易行为只是双边问题,这是错误的,当然不会有好的效果,”他说。“但是如果你对盟友施加钢铝关税并威胁施加汽车关税时,那就很难激励它们。”
For China, a complicating factor is figuring out who has influence in Mr. Trump’s White House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been leading the negotiations, invited China’s top trade negotiator, Liu He, to Washington for a meeting next week, even though his last visit ended badly when Mr. Trump spurned a deal that would have cut the American trade deficit with China.
对于中国来说,一个复杂因素是弄清楚究竟谁对特朗普白宫具有影响力。一直领导谈判的美国财政部长史蒂芬·马努钦(Steven Mnuchin)邀请中国最高贸易谈判代表刘鹤下周在华盛顿会面,尽管刘鹤上次访美的结果并不好,特朗普回绝了一项本来可以削减美中贸易逆差的协议。
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Mr. Mnuchin believes the United States must be open to talks as long as China is willing to address structural issues, including the trade gap between what America exports and what it imports, pressure on American companies to hand over valuable technology as a condition for doing business in China and intellectual property theft.
马努钦认为,只要中国愿意解决结构性问题,美国必须对谈判持开放态度,这些问题包括美国进出口之间的贸易缺口,以及美国企业面临交出重要技术作为在华开展业务条件的压力,以及窃取知识产权。
Other senior officials, notably Peter Navarro, who oversees the office of trade and manufacturing policy, have told colleagues that inviting the Chinese now was a sign of weakness. Mr. Navarro, an economist who made his name with book titles like “Death by China,” is among those who favor putting more pressure on China to force a change in its behavior.
其他的高级官员,尤其是负责贸易和制造业政策办公室的彼得·纳瓦罗(Peter Navarro)曾跟同事讲,现在邀请中国人是软弱的表现。作为一名以《致命中国》(Death by China)这样的书而为人所知的经济学家,纳瓦罗是主张向中国施加更大压力、迫使其改变行为的人之一。
His office produced a compendious report in June called, “How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World.” In early May, he and Mr. Mnuchin clashed openly during a visit to Beijing after Mr. Mnuchin excluded him and other American officials from a private meeting with Mr. Liu.
今年6月,他的办公室发表了一份简明报告,名为《中国的经济侵略如何威胁到美国和世界的科技和知识产权》。5月初,他和马努钦在访问北京期间发生公开冲突,之前后者撇开他与其他美国官员,与刘鹤举行了私下会面。
It is not clear whether Mr. Liu will visit Washington next week. But even if he does, people who have spoken to Chinese officials said the unraveling of the agreement Mr. Liu believed he had struck on his last visit would make him reluctant to make any deal this time.
目前尚不清楚刘鹤是否会在下周访问华盛顿。但与中方官员有过接触的人士表示,即使刘鹤真的去了,他认为上次访美取得了协议却遭到破坏,会令他这一次不愿达成任何协议。
“The Chinese deep learning from that is, ‘We should not substantively re-engage until the administration has its internal house in order,’” said Mr. Rudd, who is now the president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
现任亚洲协会政策研究所(Asia Society Policy Institute)所长的陆克文说,“中国人从中学到的深刻教训是,‘在那个政府内部理顺之前,我们不应该进行实质性的重新接触’。”
After months of bruising encounters with Mr. Trump, Mr. Rudd said Chinese officials recognized that they would need to change their policies on trade and market access. But he said Mr. Xi was no less likely than Mr. Trump to risk losing face by giving in to American pressure.
陆克文表示,在与特朗普进行数月的激烈交锋后,中国官员认识到,他们需要改变贸易和市场准入方面的政策。但他说,习近平和特朗普一样好面子,不大可能向美国的压力屈服。
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“China has politics too,” he said. “The whole notion of ‘back down’ and ‘face’ is as live a consideration within internal Chinese politics as it is within U.S. politics.”
“中国也是有政治的,”他说。“在中国国内政治中,‘退缩’和‘脸面’的概念也是需要考虑的,这跟美国政治一样。”
Mr. Trump’s aggressive moves drew intense criticism from some quarters at home. Fred Smith, the chief executive of FedEx and an enthusiastic supporter of the president’s tax cuts, called his trade policy a form of mercantilism that was “worrisome to everyone.”
特朗普咄咄逼人的举动,在美国国内招致了一些人士的强烈批评。特朗普减税政策的热心支持者、联邦快递(FedEx)的首席执行官弗雷德·史密斯(Fred Smith)称,特朗普的贸易政策是一种“让所有人担心”的重商主义。
But Mr. Trump has shown little sign of changing course. While there are differences among members of his economic team, there is a broad consensus in the administration about taking a hawkish stance toward China. Some point to evidence that the trade pressure on China was making it less adventurous in the East China Sea, where it spars regularly with Japan.
但特朗普几乎没有表现出要改变路数的迹象。虽然他的经济团队成员之间存在分歧,但在政府内部,对中国采取强硬立场是存在广泛共识的。一些人指出,有证据表明,贸易压力使得中国减少了在东海的冒进行为,在那里,中国跟日本经常发生摩擦。
Mr. Trump has forged ahead with tariffs even while saying that the trade tensions were making China less cooperative in pressuring North Korea on its nuclear arsenal — a claim that puzzles some of his own advisers.
尽管特朗普表示,美中的贸易紧张关系使得后者在就核武库问题向朝鲜施压方面不太配合——这个说法也令他自己的一些顾问感到不解,但他仍在继续推进向中国商品征税。
“They have been helpful; I hope they’re still helpful,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference Tuesday with the Polish president, Andrzej Duda. “There’s a question about that.”
“他们一直在帮忙;我希望他们仍然能帮上忙,”特朗普周二在与波兰总统安杰伊·杜达(Andrzej Duda)举行的新闻发布会上说。“这方面是存在疑问的。”
But the president added, “It got to a point where the numbers were too big.” China “rebuilt their country with tremendous amounts of money pouring out of the United States,” he said. “And I’ve changed that around.”
但他又补充道,“事到如今,牵涉到的数字已经太大了。”中国“用大量从美国涌出的资金重建自己的国家”,他说,“我已经改变了这一点。”