The table below shows the trade of different goods of Germany and the USA. The import(/export ratio you can create with this data shows, that products like textiles, leather, goods made of wood, cork, laced goods are goods the USA imports to Germany. Germany imports tech-products like machines and cars to the USA.
But if German companies match the customers needs of the US companies in high-tech-products, Then the US tech producers and developers have lost the contact to the world leading companies. So, if US president Donald Trump complains about his trade deficit, he has not to blame the Germans. The trade deficit related to Germany is caused by machines first and automobile second.
If Toyota, BMW or Daimler should produce in USA, this companies will import the means of production they knew and have tested in their homelands.
Mergings like Fiat-Chrysler, a company where Chrysler learned how to produce comapct cars, make investments necessary in means of production. But, if Chrysler wants to produce compact cars like Fiat in Italy does, it is obvious they will import the proven means of production Fiat use in Italy. All these lead to increasing imports of machines to USA. Only the machine producers of the USA can remedy this problem. The USA is required to develop and produce the machines the producers of goods need if the USA want to force the producers to buy in the USA the machines they need for their production.
Also the supply chains are international and highly fragmented. The commodities of a country are manufactured to a semi-finished product in another country. This semi-finished product is transported to a supplier in a third country who finished the product and delivered it to the producer in a fourth country, where it is finally assembled in the product like a car or aeroplane. Today, those plants, where the products are assembled are often in China. But the production line of this products are international. If the USA starts to impose taxes on cheap goods, the states of the supplier chain will follow to impose taxes by themself. This will only make the goods expensive, too expensive for those, who will find work because of Mr. Trumps protectionist politics. And too expensive for normal workers. The living standard for them will decrease.
The table below shows that US president Trump create conflicts with his leading trading partners. He imposes taxes on Canadian soft wood, urges companies not to invest in Mexico and like to secure the border to Mexico with a wall endowed with electronical policing devices. He starts to impose taxes on Chinese goods and wants to impose taxes on European goods. Also USA left TPP, the free trade agreement with asian countries.
By the way:
In 2016 Chinese inventors file 1,010,406 patent applications followed from USA with 523,296 patent applications, and Japan 454,285 patent applications. Europe is fifth after South Korea. The table below shows the development of patent applications from 1883 to 2016.
It looks like the Chinese will develop from emerging markets to high tech leadership.
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