Archive for 4. International Economics

Spanish Currency in Jeopardy (via Bobby’s Blog)

I thought that this blog post had an insightful analysis on the Spanish currency exchange rate and how the exchange rate is affecting the current account of the Spanish economy. According to the blog post, Spanish are experiencing double-digit deficit in their current account. In addition, the author analyzes the Spanish dilemma over whether they should stay or defect from Euro.

Spanish Currency in Jeopardy At this time, Spain, as part of the PIGS, countries that have double digit deficits in terms of current account in GDP, is suffering greatly. According to the article by Paul Krugman, the only solution Spain has formulated in order to recover from the deficit is to abandon the euro currency. By doing so, they will be free from Germany, a country that is doing relatively well in light of the current recession. Unlike Spain, it is currently experie … Read More

via Bobby’s Blog

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U.S. vs. China: Currency and Trade Dispute

Historically, China used the fixed exchange rate for their currency Yuan over almost 50 years. Of course, China has discontinued its inflexible practice from the start of July of 2005. Instead of the fixed exchange rate, they employed a flexible exchange rate system. However, it wasn’t 100% flexible or floating because of the Chinese government’s intervention in the currency exchange market. What the government would do is that they would use their reserves of currencies to ‘manipulate’ or manage the currency exchange rate to be at a certain level. Exchange rate is a ratio between the value of two currencies and it is a method to translate the value of one currency into another.

China armed with undervalued currency and its huge industrial factories and infrastructures, it gains enormous amount of surplus in current account against United States. The surplus in current account means that the country is exporting more than it is importing. Therefore, China is gaining lots of US dollars from the trade. If you look this at the American point of view, US is losing in terms of current account against China. US is importing more than it is exporting. The imbalance in the current account in both cases (surplus and deficit) could create some problems. For deficit in current account, the country will experience in large amounts of payments losing to the foreign country. So US will be losing lots of its payments and interests to China. For surplus in current account, it is considered ‘desirable’ compared to the deficit in current account, however, it could mean that the country is not experiencing the highest possible standards of living. Also, it could be seen as economy’s under-performing. Also, it exerts pressure on the exchange rate to appreciate the currency of the country.

As you could see, the fixed exchange rate could cause a problem of shortage in the currency supply. This would generally push the exchange rate upwards, but the fixed rate block this. Therefore, the shortage in the supply of the currency occurs.

What would have happen if the Yuan got stronger and appreciated? It would decrease the exports of China dramatically. Conversely, it would increase the imported goods to China. This will ‘fix’ the imbalance and lower the surplus in current account against United States. In the point of view of Americans, this will increase their exports to China and decrease the imports due to increase in the price. This would be beneficial for both countries’ balance of payment, however, China refuses to appreciate their currency. It is because the weak Yuan stimulates exports to US and this is the key engine for China’s enormous economic growth. They think that the surplus in the current account is a good thing, however, as it was mentioned there are problems with it also.

In conclusion, China’s currency policy is creating an imbalance in the trade between United States and China. Also, it is creating the imbalance in the balance of payment. It would be idealistic if China gave up their under-evaluation policy. However, it will increase the unemployment rate in China as the exports decrease and the number of workplaces in China decreases. Conversely, this will be beneficial for United States for it will lower the unemployment rate by the increase in exports and increase in the number of workplaces.

Resources:

Council of Foreign Relations – Confronting the China-US Economic Imbalance

Wikipedia – Fixed Exchange Rate

Graph from Triple AAA Reading – Fixed Exchange Rate

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Data Response Section 4 Reflection

I have got the score of 20 out of 20. I have answered to every question asked and I think that this was the reason why I have got the perfect score. However, there were some improvements to be made. Firstly, my hand writing was not that neat. It would frustrate the examiner who might be grading 100-200 papers a day if the writing illegible. Also, I finished 15 minutes before the test ended. I think that I should be used this time to examine and correct on some of the mistakes I have made.

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Free Trade vs. Protectionism

Satirical View of Protectionism

There are strong arguments from both opinions. However, I do think that an industry needs a protectionism in order to build up its capability to compete with international industries. There are many real world examples that support this idea of protectionism. Of course, it could be unfair for some of the countries that are trying to get in to the market, however, the country with inefficient, lack of technology on specific area will never get better just by initiating free trade with other countries, completely making the weak industry vulnerable to international siege of cheap… products.

There are many industries in East Asia that have benefited from protectionism. One of the most famous example would be South Korea. The country had set a quota, tariff and all methods of protectionism possible to grow one of the important industries. For example, the electronics industries have heavily benefited from the protectionism. From 1970-1990’s, the electronic companies such as Samsung or LG have had significant growth due to the protectionism. Thus, expanding economic growth within the country and lifting the standards of living of the South Korean people. If Korea did not use any kind of protectionism to bolster its core industries, they might be still suffering from poverty and low standards of living. This also includes Japanese, Taiwanese and other nation’s industries. These countries became wealthy by overcoming the lack of resources by protecting the important, lucrative industries.

It would be completely immoral for developed countries to impose and bully undeveloped countries to sign up for WTO and initiate free trade. These undeveloped countries will never have the chance to grow and develop their own industry and technology. It would be forcing a poor country to stay poor and never giving them a chance to have develop their own industry and raise the standards of living.

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Table of Types of Protectionism

Type of Protectionism Definition Real World Example + Link
Tariff It is the tax on imported goods, which could be imposed on specific products. Japan imposes tariff on imported rice.Article Link: Click Here
Quota It is a limit to the imports set by the government. The trading economy can only export maximum amount of goods to the economy that is imposing quota. European Union imposes quota on Japanese cars.Article Link: Click Here
Subsidy It is the sum of money given to the weak industry in order to maintain the job places that it provides. The Japanese government is giving subsidies to Japanese rice farmers.Article Link: Click Here



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