Impacts of the USA decoupling its economy

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Impacts of the USA decoupling its economy

Source: The post impacts of the USA decoupling its economy has been created, based on the article “The high cost of a global economic decoupling” published in “The Hindu” on 19th June 2024

UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper3- Economy

Context:  The article discusses the new tariffs imposed by President Biden on Chinese imports, emphasizing their political rather than economic motivations. It highlights the potential long-term global economic impacts, including increased protectionism, delayed green transitions, and challenges for various economies dependent on China. Impacts of the USA decoupling its economy

For detailed information on protectionism read Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

Why is the USA decoupling its economy?

  1. Political motivations: The tariffs reflect political goals, like supporting domestic unions and industries, rather than economic benefits, indicating a shift towards protectionism.
  2. Economic independence: By increasing tariffs, the USA aims to grow independent, particularly in sectors like healthcare, where China has been a primary equipment supplier, nearly $640 million worth in 2023.
  3. Geopolitical rivalry: The decoupling also stems from geopolitical tensions and the belief that economic interdependence is not mutually beneficial, which could lead to China weaponizing economic dependencies.

What are the impacts of the USA decoupling its economy?

  1. Increase in Consumer Costs: The tariffs on Chinese goods, like medical devices, lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers. For example, China supplies $640 million in medical equipment to the U.S.
  2. Impact on Green Transition: New import restrictions on Chinese clean energy products could slow down global green transition goals.
  3. Global Economic Risks: Protectionist measures could exacerbate economic slowdowns. For instance, China’s slowing growth impacts countries like Australia and Brazil, potentially lowering iron-ore prices due to reduced Chinese demand.
  4. Challenge to Global Trade Norms: The U.S. distancing from the World Trade Organization (WTO) norms threatens the global trade system, paralyzing dispute resolution mechanisms by blocking appointments to the WTO Appellate Body.

How will the USA decoupling of its economy impact India?

  1. Impact on India’s Manufacturing: The U.S. decoupling from China could benefit India as companies look for alternative manufacturing locations. However, India’s manufacturing sector is still developing and faces competition from Southeast Asian nations.
  2. Consumer Market Opportunities: With its large consumer base, India might attract businesses shifting away from China, though gaining a significant global market share will take time.
  3. Economic Challenges: Despite potential benefits, India’s economic ties with China are deep. India imports significant amounts of goods from China, making decoupling a complex process that could disrupt existing trade and economic relations.

Question for practice:

Discuss the potential impacts of the USA’s economic decoupling from China on global trade norms and the challenges it poses to international economic relations.

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