Globalization used to refer to the process by which people, goods, services, money, and information traverse national boundaries, allowing for greater access to markets, products, cultures, and cultural practices than ever before (Rizvi & Lingard, 419). When we think of the practices of globalization, typically the images that are conveyed are decreased borders, an increased unity between people and cultures, and business dealings; however, the practice encompasses far more than just these few images may serve to convey. Political dealings are increased and decreased in complexity, and there is greater potential for both unity and upheaval. One area that is little explored is the opposing perspective; many look at globalization in terms of an increased availability of goods, or an increased ease through which communication can arise between people of different cultures, but the average individual rarely looks at how increased globalization by one country works to affect another, beyond the superficial. In order to explore this topic in greater depth, an exploration of some of the ways that China’s globalization has affected the U.S. will be undertaken, allowing for additional insight into this matter.
The first question that must be explored is related to whether or not China’s increase in trade as a result of its increases in globalization has an effect on “U.S. jobs, wages, and benefits” (Scott, 1). While the U.S. has experienced certain issues as a result of the continued shift of manufacturing jobs overseas to where such actions are more cost effective for firms, this has caused no small degree of issues now that those same countries are working to increase their overall levels of globalization, the U.S. finds itself with the potential to be left behind, as such manufacturing options are not available any longer, on a majority scale, within the U.S. This provides increased opportunities for countries like China, who have been absorbing U.S. outsourced manufacturing jobs for decades.
Another area of affect that stems from increased globalization on the part of China is the U.S.’s trade deficit. “Currency manipulation, by about 20 countries (mostly in Asia), is the most important cause of our trade deficit” and, of these, “China is by far the largest currency manipulator” (Scott, 1). The manipulation of the same, and the increased purchases of foreign assets, works to increase the overall power that China has in increasing the valuation of their currency, boosting their country over their competition. China has used the process of increased globalization to consistently and “systematically (take) advantage of U.S. mistakes and policies” (Yaghmaian, 1).
As the U.S. worked to assist China in its current rise to economic success, promoting and encouraging China to adopt globalization policies and “a free market orthodoxy,” the U.S. is now starting to see the consequences, both positive and negative, of such assistance (Yaghmaian, 1). China has become the largest trading partner for Africa, surpassing the U.S. and is on its way to displacing the U.S. as the largest trading partner for Latin America as well (Yaghmaian, 1). Such actions serve to place increased pressures on the U.S. in terms of being able to maintain and sustain its current position in the global economy, which may lend additional insight as to the reason the U.S. has become more focused on increased peacekeeping operations as of late, serving as a means of retaining political power by acting as a form of global police, though this is supposition at best.
At the same time, China appears grateful for the continued pushes on the part of the U.S. that have allowed it to gain the advantages afforded by globalization. Ambassador Zhang Yesui gave a speech in 2010 at the University of Nebraska that credited the U.S. with such efforts, and further indicated that such efforts were the means by which “international cooperation” were improved (Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America, 1). As a result of the gratitude felt by China toward the U.S., the U.S. has been the recipient of other such boosts to international relations, affording opportunities in the political spectrum that were not there previously, and providing the U.S. with the “ins” necessary to increase overall U.S. power and influence on the global scale.
The final aspect to be touched on likewise falls into the realm of beneficence. China’s increased globalization has afforded the U.S. additional access to “high-quality consumer goods at low prices imported from China” (Chow, 5). This in turn provides the U.S. with goods that are more reasonably priced than other countries might find the same products, affording a means through which citizens are able to boost their overall entrepreneurial spirit, making a profit that would not be possible in other countries who lack similar arrangements with China.
Increased globalization on the part of China does have distinct pros and cons for the U.S., but as in all other aspects and regards, it will become possible for the U.S. to turn such a situation into an advantage. In light of the increased political positioning being done on a global scale by the U.S., it is possible that the country may be able to turn such efforts into beneficial ones for all parties involved as well. While only time will tell in this regard, it is clear that globalization is affecting the U.S. in far more ways than just those commonly imagined by the everyday consumer, making this a very exciting time to be alive.
- Chow, Gregory. Globalization and China’s Economic Development. New York: NYU, 2004. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
- Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America. ‘China and China-US Relations in the Era of Globalization —- Speech by Ambassador Zhang Yesui at the University Of Nebraska-Lincoln’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
- Rizvi, Fazal, and Bob Lingard. ‘GLOBALIZATION AND EDUCATION: COMPLEXITIES AND CONTINGENCIES’. Educational Theory 50.4 (2000): 419-426. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
- Scott, Robert. ‘Hearing on U.S.-China Economic Challenges: The Impact of U.S.-China Trade’. Economic Policy Institute. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.
- Yaghmaian, Behzad. ‘China: Empire Building in the Age Of Globalization’. The Globalist. N.p., 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.