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The U.S.-China trade war imposes a looming danger to the economy, says senior editor

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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By Isabel Ng, 26 Feb 19

The outcome of the trade war and ongoing negotiations between the world’s two largest economies was a looming danger, says Yau, but not for its immediate impact on markets or growth.

The threat Yau articulated, according to him, was one that’s not being discussed much, but needs to be: The long-term impact of the U.S.-China trade war on U.S. Treasury bonds.

“What worries me about the conversation between the U.S. and China — China has a $1.3 trillion pool of U.S. Treasuries, they’ve been accumulating U.S. Treasuries because of the trade deficit,” said Yau at an assembly at Shue Yan University today.

Yau Ching Yuen is a Hong Kong senior editor, radio host and columnist. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of the online media "852 Post", hosted by D100 former deputy editor-in-chief and columnist of the "News Financial News".

China is the biggest foreign buyer of U.S. sovereign debt. In January, media reports revealed that officials in Beijing recommended the Chinese government lower, or even stop, its buying of U.S. debt.

Now as China reduced its trade deficit with the U.S., the likelihood of them reducing their need for U.S. Treasuries was large, said Yau.

“Over the next few years, and this is something we are not talking about enough and we need to be talking about this. We should expect over the number of years ahead, less ownership of U.S. Treasuries as their deficits shrink,” said Yau.

At the same time, the U.S. deficit still seemed to be growing at a trillion dollars, Yau added.

“So it is long term a little more disturbing for me to see the implications of smaller Chinese purchases of debt with rising deficits.” He asked, “So the bigger question is: who’s going to be the substitute buyer to buy this?”

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