Greece, Spain, China, Brazil

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Greece and Spain see china as a potential solution to their economic problems, while Brazil sees its relationship with China as both a benefit (China buys Brazil’s commodities) and a threat (manufacturing in China threatens Brazilian manufacturing). Source.

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China-Brazil Trade Balance, and the Beginning of the End for the USA

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Not a terrible surprise, really. This image only graphs data from a few years ago, so I would remove the exclamation mark.

Both China Daily and CNN recently ran small articles about the growing trade between Brazil and China. It appears that while a conference on international education is happening in Brazil, Brazilians are in China to promote their agricultural products. Brazil exports a lot of food products, and China imports a lot. To continue to fuel Brazil’s growth, these exports are going to need to increase, and as China’s citizens become more affluent, they are going to want more and better foods. I’m not sure if Brazilian foods are going to be a hit with Chinese consumers, but if nothing else more primary materials like soybeans and sugar will certainly increase as consumption goes up on China. The CNN article mentions how Latin America needs to diversify it’s exports more and invest in it’s own industries so that it won’t be seriously affected by any slowing of Chinese growth. I wonder if this will end up being another situation similar to Spain’s, in which problems were left unfixed during boom years and now are a serious drag on the economy.

I found this small section at the end of the China Daily article particularly interesting:

China outstripped the US to become the largest exporter to Brazil this year. During the first 10 months, China’s exports to Brazil grew by 6.2 percent from a year earlier to $28.7 billion. Meanwhile, its annual imports from Brazil have declined 5.2 percent to $35.2 billion, according to official Brazilian data. Trade experts and analysts expect Brazil’s surplus with China to hit $7.5 billion this year.

China has surpassed the United States as Brazil’s largest trading partner. Reading things like this I find it hard to believe that there are still people in the global north who think that the American Age isn’t coming to and end. It certainly isn’t over yet (a quick glance at the UN Security Council, NATO, popular media around the world, fashion, or economies can tell you that), but I do think that the time we are in right now is the beginning of the end for American global dominance. There was a uni-polar moment, and now we are shifting into a new world, although I’m not sure if it will be multi-polar or bi-polar (This isn’t caused by Brazilian-Chinese trade, of couse. Such trade is only one result of an increasingly diversifying world). There are also some hard facts and numbers in that little excerpt, but I am curious as to how that compares with this expert from the CNN article:

Brazil’s trade surplus with China, for example, was $11.5 billion in 2011.

Are these trade surpluses annual flows, or is this the total stock? I just recently watched an MRUniversality video related to this, so it is fresh in my mind. Where do the reporters get these numbers from? Neither of the articles cited any source for the trade surplus numbers.