Michael Pascoe writes:

As everyone who has ever listened to an
American politician or shock jock knows, those evil Orientals are perverting
world trade with their shameless and massive export surpluses and undermining America’s
God-given right to the good life in the process.

First it was the duplicitous Japanese and
now the commie Chinese who are exploiting trade imbalances and failing to
pull their economic weight.

Of course it’s an argument that doesn’t fly
so well in China-dependent Australia
– and it’s also not quite right. China and
Japan are way behind in the trade surplus stakes.

First prize for running an export-dependent
economy with a dubious domestic regime is Germany.
The Fatherland’s trade surplus hit a record US$192 billion last year –
nearly double China’s US$102 billion, while Japan’s shrank 26% to $US77 billion.

Yet somehow Germany
doesn’t seem to cop the headlines and political tirades reserved for the
Asians about needing to stimulate the domestic economy and become less
dependent on exports. Wonder why?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey