North America vs China: the war ahead

The rapprochement that our country sought to have with China both in the past and current administration has not been able to materialize in concrete positive results. The purpose was inadequate so it failed. The mistake has been to pretend to receive part of its abundant liquidity, unaware that the fund is taking advantage of Mexico’s geographic location to continue penetrating the US market. Thus, we have been seeing dozens of letters of intent circulating for 10 years, supposedly endorsing hundreds of billions of dollars to build suburban trains that connect airports, complete tourist destinations that would make Los Cabos a resort without having specified anything. The mirage of “Chinese economic fortune” with the lack of strategic vision and the wrong approach has been the formula for wasting time on what is really worthwhile. Our trade with China has been growing while they are losing ground in the US. The above reality forces us to build a more profitable long-term strategy than waiting for Asians to pay for our infrastructure.

In this sense, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador modifies the logic of his predecessor and that of the beginning of his government, putting on the White House table, before his counterparts Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden, the pertinent idea of ​​competing with China what remainder of the century. The new world economic architecture after the financial crisis of 2008, the accelerated technological advance we are witnessing and the Covid, require the formation of strong economic blocks that know how to play as is done in the international arena. The Asian country, it is true, represents a large market with the addition of its logistics, technological and manufacturing capacity; Unfortunately, much of this has been achieved by exploiting workers, copying everything it can without the slightest modesty to violate property rights, not to mention the most basic human and civil rights of its citizens. We are not facing Franciscan monks or rather Tibetans. David Ricardo developed the theory of the complementarity of economies, it is what we live and that the president proposes for North America and, where appropriate, the rest of America. There is no such globalization, what we are witnessing is the formation of powerful trade blocs with strong protectionist vices that we are not going to change. The way out is not to let us let China spread amassed dollars by selling the world billions of goods by buying pennies. The time has come for China to start buying the same quantities that it sells, there is our opportunity. Meanwhile the country has no other, it is with the United States, Canada and soon England with whom we have to get together in the neighborhood to ensure water, energy, money, jobs, technology and well-being for the next 100 years. As trusted neighbors we must demonstrate that we have the capacity to produce medicines, chips, household appliances, aerospace materials and share technology with the security of not copying them but sharing it. The name of the game is to sell to China by being decisive players in the North American bloc.

Carlos Alberto Martinez

Doctor in Economic Development and Law


Professor at the Universidad Panamericana, Ibero and TEC de Monterrey. He has worked at the Bank of Mexico, the Ministry of Finance, in Washington, DC and in the Presidency of the Republic. He is currently studying for a doctorate in Philosophy with research in the field of ethics and economics. Author of books on economic history, financial regulation and public policy.

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