Monday, October 25, 2010

Asia Turns To Intra-Trade

Here's a quick observation on the future for Asian exports.  Big shippers like Maersk are starting to cut the shipping capacity they dedicate to Asia-Europe routes, a sign of slackening demand for Asian exports.  Carriers raising rates in this environment may be committing economic suicide.  Asian producers will find replacement markets closer to home, and companies like Evergreen have a lot at stake in servicing those markets.  Asian exporters have little choice in the face of trade war provocations like new U.S. anti-dumping duties

This Asian focus on Asian trade makes sense in the context of internal development.  China wants the same kind of consumerist middle class that Taiwan and South Korea have grown for themselves.  Expect the Middle Kingdom to continue its pursuit of a hegemonic strategy in Asia.  China's next strategic gambit will be to create domestic value-added manufacturing in a direct challenge to Singapore and other regional competitors for capital.  Further U.S. stupidity in the form of trade pressure on China will drive Asian nations closer together.  The U.S. will rue the day it plays midwife to the birth of an Asian trading bloc with high walls.