In August and September, The Wall Street Journal [reports], the Port of New York/New Jersey was busier than the Port of Los Angeles for the first time since America’s corporate leaders discovered that employing cheap Chinese labor meant bigger American corporate profits.
It’s still too early to judge the implications of this shift. It may be that when the Chinese lockdowns end, Pacific trade will revert to its accustomed torrent. It may be that when Europe can tap its own energy resources, we will no longer be shipping them oceans of liquid natural gas.
But the rise in cross-Atlantic commerce isn’t just a rise in our exports of fossil fuel. Our imports from the EU and the UK have either matched or exceeded those from China for most of this year.
Not that I know the answer but Japan is a good model. Communism held back China’s natural economy for decades. When the shackles were removed the Chinese economy went into high gear until it became a threat to the rest of the world. Between that treat and rising labor costs the Chinese economy had no alternative than to slow to it’s natural rate of growth.
On the other hand China’s covid lockdown policies have been an abject failure as compared to the less draconian covid measures of the West.