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https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/27/europe/china-europe-brexit-it...

Interesting article about China and the EU doing the trade dance - partially because of and at the expense of Brexit.

More importantly, from a US point of view (not addressed in the article), China is making significant headway in its "New Silk Road" initiative to link the Eurasian land mass in extended trade between China and the rest of the world. In the somewhat zero-sum game of trade, the US policies have been exclusionary and make dangling carrots difficult - both because of a lack of trust as well as the adversarial position we have taken with both China and the EU over the past couple of years.

As has been pointed out by Q on a parallel thread, we are gradually forcing other into bilateral currency exchange positions with China and will, eventually, by abandonment, forgo our unique position as the currency of choice for all trade.

I am sure the trade and currency experts in the US government are aware of what we are giving up, so maybe it is all a ploy to give the rest of the world a false sense of confidence that they can do without us?

Jeff
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In the somewhat zero-sum game of trade

And there's the error.

If I didn't value your widget more than my gizmo, I would not agree to trade. (Well, except at gunpoint - but that isn't trade, that's robbery. Or if you're misrepresenting your widget and preventing me from getting an accurate view of it - but that's fraud.)

If you didn't value my gizmo more than your widget, you would not agree to trade.

Therefore, if the trade happens on truthful terms by our mutual free choice, both of us are better off than we would otherwise be. That's a positive sum.
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warrl,

I agree if you look at it that way. OTOH, if I trade my widget for your gizmo rather than for someone else's gizmo, they are out a widget and I have a gizmo. If widgets are necessary for them, they could offer to buy them from you - unless you have consumed it. So, supply and demand can make it zero sum.

That's why I used the word "somewhat" (always leave yourself an out :-)

Jeff
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I agree if you look at it that way. OTOH, if I trade my widget for your gizmo rather than for someone else's gizmo, they are out a widget and I have a gizmo. If widgets are necessary for them, they could offer to buy them from you - unless you have consumed it. So, supply and demand can make it zero sum.

I look at it like this: I can make a widget for $100. And you'll sell me the same widget for $95. Then I'm $5 richer by buying the widget from you. And vice versa.
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I agree if you look at it that way. OTOH, if I trade my widget for your gizmo rather than for someone else's gizmo, they are out a widget and I have a gizmo. If widgets are necessary for them, they could offer to buy them from you - unless you have consumed it. So, supply and demand can make it zero sum.


Nope. You and I are both better off. The other guy who had a gizmo, whom you did not trade with, still has his gizmo. He didn't lose anything. So, still positive sum.
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I understood what he meant by somewhat zero sum: If there are two Mr. Widgets but only one Ms. Gizmo, only one Mr. Widget gets the benefit of a mutually beneficial trade. So its positive sum for the traders. But alternative trade is left out.

The other Mr. Widget doesn't get the gizmo . . . probably opens private browsing mode!
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