Foreign exchange surpluses

Global trade in the slogans of politics and media means outsourcing at the moment, and currency disputes, but a global economy has implications many Americans have not experienced in any large and macro way, and suggests there are other implications to consider:

Here are some key paragraphs from an article by Michael Hudson (Hat tip reader rayllove):

China already is seeking to buy mineral, fuel and agricultural resources abroad to supply the inputs that it needs for its own growth. But these efforts still leave substantial foreign exchange surpluses. Most countries have used these surpluses to buy up key sectors of foreign economies. This is what Britain, the United States and France have done for more than a century.”

“When the US economy runs payments surpluses with foreign countries, it insists that they pay for their foreign debts and ongoing trade deficits by opening up their markets and “restore balance” by selling their key public infrastructure, industries, mineral rights and commanding heights to US investors. But the US Government has blocked foreign countries from doing the same with the United States. This asymmetry has been a major factor causing the inequality between high US private-sector returns and low foreign official returns on their dollar holdings.”

“The refusal of the US Government to behave symmetrically by not letting China buy key US companies with the dollar inflows that enter China to buy its own companies, above all its financial and banking sector, is largely responsible for the asymmetrical situation noted above, in which US investors earn 20% in China, but China earns only 1% in the US.