ໃນຂະນະທີ່ສະຫະລັດແລະຈີນ ຍັງສືບຕໍ່ການປະເຊີນໜ້າທາງດ້ານການຄ້າ ຊຶ່ງໄດ້ຂະຫຍາຍວົງກວ້າງອອກ ຈາກເລື້ອງຊັບສິນທາງດ້ານສະຕິປັນຍາແລະການເຂົ້າເຖິງຕະຫຼາດ ໄປຮວມເອົາບັນຫາທາງດ້ານຄວາມໝັ້ນຄົງແຫ່ງຊາດນຳແລ້ວ ທຸລະກິດຕ່າງໆຢູ່ໃນທົ່ວໂລກ ຕ່າງກໍພົບວ່າ ສິ່ງທີ່ແນ່ນອນທີ່ສຸດໃນເວລານີ້ ກໍຄືມີຄວາມບໍ່ແນ່ນອນຫຼາຍຂຶ້ນ.
ອາທິດແລ້ວນີ້ ແມ່ນເຕັມໄປດ້ວຍຂ່າວ ກ່ຽວກັບການເຈລະຈາ ທີ່ບໍ່ແນ່ນອນ ແລະບາງຄັ້ງບາງຄາວ ກໍມີຖະແຫຼງການທີ່ຂັດແຍ້ງກັນ ຈາກພວກເຈົ້າໜ້າທີຂອງທຳນຽບຂາວ ແລະເຮັດໃຫ້ທຸລະກິດຕ່າງໆຕົກຢູ່ໃນທ່າມກາງສະພາບຄວາມງົງງວຍ.
ແລະຄວາມຫວັງທີ່ວ່າ ການພົບປະກັນລະຫວ່າງປະທານາທິບໍດີສະຫະລັດທ່ານດໍໂນລ ທຣຳ ແລະປະທານປະເທດຈີນ ທ່ານສີ ຈິ້ງຜິງ ຢູ່ຂ້າງນອກກອງປະຊຸມ ສຸດຍອດຂອງກຸ່ມຈີ 20 ໃນເດືອນໜ້າ ທີ່ອາດພາໃຫ້ ມີການແກ້ໄຂ ບັນຫາຂັດແຍ້ງໃນເລື້ອງການຄ້ານັ້ນ ໄດ້ຖືກທຳລາຍ ໃນວັນພະຫັດຜ່ານມາໂດຍໂຄສົກກະຊວງການຄ້າຈີນ ທ່ານກາວ ເຟັງ ທີ່ເວົ້າວ່າ ອີງຕາມການແປຂອງໂທລະພາບ CNBC ກ່ຽວກັບຄວາມເຫັນ ທີ່ກ່າວເປັນພາສາຈີນກາງນັ້ນ “ຖ້າສະຫະລັດຢາກຈະສືບຕໍ່ການເຈລະຈາແລ້ວ ສະຫະລັດກໍຄວນ ປັບໂຕດ້ວຍຄວາມຈິງໃຈ ກ່ຽວກັບການກະທຳຜິດຂອງຕົນ ຫຼັງຈາກນັ້ນ ການເຈລະຈາຈຶ່ງຈະດຳເນີນຕໍ່ໄປໄດ້.”
ທ່ານກ່າວຕື່ມວ່າ “ສະຫະລັດ… ໄດ້ລົງໂທດບໍລິສັດຕ່າງໆຂອງຈີນ ຊຶ່ງບໍ່ພຽງແຕ່ໄດ້ສ້າງຄວາມເສຍຫາຍຮ້າຍແຮງ ຕໍ່ການຮ່ວມມືທາງດ້ານການຄ້າແບບປົກກະຕິ ລະຫວ່າງປະເທດທັງສອງເທົ່ານັ້ນ ແຕ່ຍັງໄດ້ກໍ່ໃຫ້ເກີດໄພຂົ່ມຂູ່ອັນໃຫຍ່ຫຼວງຕໍ່ຄວາມໝັ້ນຄົງຂອງອຸດສາຫະກຳໂລກແລະຕ່ອງໂສ້ອຸບປະທານນຳດ້ວຍ. ຈີນແມ່ນຄັດຄ້ານຢ່າງແຂງຂັນຕໍ່ເລື້ອງນີ້. ພວກເຮົາຈະຕິດຕາມ ສິ້ງຊອມເບິ່ງການເຄື່ອນໄຫວດັ່ງກ່າວຢ່າງໃກ້ຊິດ ແລະທຳການກະກຽມຢ່າງພຽງພໍ.”
ບໍລິສັດຕ່າງໆ ກໍມີຄວາມກະຕືລືລົ້ນ ທີ່ຈະ “ເຮັດການກະກຽມຢ່າງພຽງພໍ” ແຕ່ກໍຍັງບໍ່ແນ່ໃຈວ່າ ພວກເຂົາເຈົ້າຄວນເຮັດຫຍັງ ໃນເມື່ອວ່າ ມີການປ່ຽນແປງຢູ່ເລື້ອຍໆ ກ່ຽວກັບການຕໍ່ສູ້ກັນ ໃນລະດັບສູງລະຫວ່າງສອງປະເທດທີ່ມີເສດຖະກິດໃຫຍ່ສຸດໃນໂລກ.
As the U.S. and China continue their standoff on trade, which has expanded from a dispute over intellectual property and market access to encompass key national security issues, businesses worldwide are finding that the only thing that seems certain is more uncertainty.
The last weeks have been filled with on-again off-again negotiations, competing and sometimes conflicting statements from White House officials, and a general state of confusion for businesses caught in the middle.
And hopes that a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of next month's G-20 meeting might lead to resolution of the trade conflict were torpedoed on Thursday by Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng, who said, according to a CNBC translation of remarks delivered in Mandarin, "If the U.S. would like to keep on negotiating it should, with sincerity, adjust its wrong actions. Only then can talks continue."
He added, "The U.S. ... crackdown on Chinese companies not only seriously damages the normal commercial cooperation between both countries, but it also forms a great threat to the security of the global industrial and supply chain. China is firmly opposed to this. We will closely monitor developments and make adequate preparations."
Google Flip-Flops Signal Corporate Uncertainty
Companies are also eager to make "adequate preparations" but it remains unclear what they should do, given the constantly shifting state of play in the high-stakes fight between the world's two biggest economies.
For example, an announcement from the Trump administration that it would ban the sale of high-tech equipment to Chinese telecom giant Huawei last week led to a statement from Google that it would stop supplying its Android operating system to the company for use in its smartphones, a move that could cripple Huawei's phone business. Days later the Trump administration announced a 90-day reprieve, forcing Google to modify its original statement to indicate that it will do limited work with Huawei until then.
In the following days, Microsoft, which supplies some of Huawei's business operations, and ARM Holdings, which supplies microchip technology vital to the firm's large smartphone business, have also said that they will stop doing business with the Chinese company.
But on Thursday, comments from President Trump raised questions about whether that will be necessary after all, and negotiators could work out some deal in the trade talks that would address U.S. security concerns.
For weeks, administration officials have tried hard to draw a distinction between sanctions imposed in the interests of national security, and those meant to address what the United States sees as China's unfair trade practices. Blocking U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei, they have insisted, is an example of the former.
However on Thursday, and not for the first time, Trump publicly connected the Huawei ban with the broader trade war in a White House press conference.
He described the company as being dangerous to U.S. interests from "a security standpoint, a military standpoint," but then added, "It's possible that Huawei would be included in a trade deal. If we made a deal, I can imagine Huawei being included in some form or some part of a trade deal."
Tech Bans Beyond Huawei?
At the same time that it suggests a deal could be struck on Huawei, the Trump administration has also signaled that it will be broadening the ban on technology sales well beyond Huawei, with an executive order signed on May 15.
The language of the order makes it clear that the prohibitions could be extensive, but details are lacking, leaving businesses unsure of exactly what will be affected. The order gives the relevant federal agencies 150 days to come up with rules that would implement it.
The resulting uncertainty about the future of trade and business relations between the U.S. and China is having real consequences for U.S. firms. Google, for example, has seen the share price of its parent company, Alphabet, tumble by more than 10% in the past month. Other firms that count Huawei as a major customer, including Broadcom, Qualcomm, Seagate Technology, and Corning have also suffered significant declines in the markets.
The trade fight has also had ramifications well beyond the telecommunications sector.
Among the many U.S. companies that have made big bets on China over the past several years, few better highlight the perceived opportunity of melding American technological innovation and Chinese manufacturing capacity than Tesla Motors. The electric car maker, founded by the Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk, invested heavily in China-based production facilities, including a massive 9.3 million square foot "Gigafactory" in Shanghai.
And now, with Washington and Beijing locked in a trade war that does not seem likely to end in the foreseeable future, Tesla is a shining example of a different kind, symbolizing the confusion and concern about the future that escalating threats of reciprocal tariffs have created.
This week shares in the company continued a month-long slide as analyst Gene Munster, the managing partner of Loup Ventures, warned about the uncertainty surrounding Tesla's future in China. Currently the largest market for electric vehicles in the world, China was expected to account for 25% of the carmaker's annual sales this year, a number Munster downgraded to 17% in the face of potential tariffs and other challenges stemming from the trade war.
"We are lowering our numbers as a precautionary measure related to two unknowns," Munster wrote. "First, we are now factoring in that Tesla deliveries will be impacted by tariffs entering China. Second, non-tariff factors that will impact China demand include Chinese consumers boycotting Tesla and Chinese officials adding complexity to the delivery process."
However, he conceded, the situation remains unclear. While it is possible that Tesla will be harmed by the trade war, other analysts believe that the company's investment in the Shanghai factory, which only started construction in December, will cause the government in Beijing to create exemptions for the company.
If there is anything markets hate, though, it's uncertainty. And the possibility that Beijing will give Tesla a break despite its ongoing trade dispute with the Trump administration has not been enough to calm the fears of investors.