US-Australia economic ties won't justify possible China trade loss

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/21 21:40:19

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Some US politicians may think it is a time to reassure Australians by emphasizing the US' economic importance to them when the public are watching closely for whether the deteriorating China-Australia relations will have negative impacts on the Australian economy. 

But such effort could be in vain as US-Australia economic ties cannot justify the deteriorating China-Australia economic relations. 

There is no denying that the US, the world's largest economy, is of great importance to the Australian economy. A new report - which was commissioned by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and funded by the US State Department according to Australian media - claimed on Tuesday that trade and investment from the US contributed more than $130 billion to the Australian economy, leading to a conclusion by the US ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse Jr that the US is "Australia's most important economic partner."

As stated in the report, the cumulative value of US investment in the country could reach $984 billion, more than a quarter of Australia's total foreign investment, and at least 320,000 workers are employed by US companies in Australia.

China-Australia ties have been deteriorating over multiple issues including the Hong Kong issue, and the push for a coronavirus investigation. As such issues have been in the spotlight for months, it is somehow understandable for the US to play up its economic links with Australia at this juncture.

But all such reminding push cannot eliminate concerns and anxieties about the economic uncertainty in Australia. That is because the downside risks to China-Australia trade are growing rapidly amid the political disputes between the two countries. At the current stage, no one can deny that China's economic influence on Australia is nearly overwhelming. China is Australia's largest export market, and bought more than a third of all Australian exports in 2019, while Australia enjoyed a trade surplus of $48.83 billion with China, up 51.1 percent year-on-year, according to data from China's Ministry of Commerce.

The Morrison government's political choice in a possible "new Cold War" between China and the US is economically irrational. Australians need to be aware of the situation.
Newspaper headline: US-Australia economy can’t replace China losses

Posted in: GT VOICE

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