The West must reduce its productive dependence on China

Biden’s advent to the US presidency, which coincided with the second phase of the pandemic, only highlighted the real need for greater independence from Chinese products for the autonomy of the American productive fabric, in particular, but of the whole West in general. . The question is now ancient: the shift in production, including strategic products, conditioned only by the desire to lower labor costs, has determined a dependence on the Chinese country, which has never been regulated by Western countries, attracted by deregulation to favor the easy earning of businesses. Beyond the social costs and the impoverishment of the Western productive fabric, the question has always been very present to governments, which have however been attracted by the availability of Chinese investments to compensate for the loss of jobs, knowledge and, above all, autonomy operational of industrial production. This imbalance had to emerge sooner or later and the arrival of the pandemic situation was the trigger, which made a review of the current state of affairs no longer postponable. A practical example was the suspension of production, in some American car factories, due to the lack of spare parts from China and then, how can we forget, the absolute shortage of surgical masks in the first phase of the pandemic, precisely because the production of these medical devices had been completely moved to territories outside the West. Biden’s strategy has identified six strategic areas on which to operate the review of production and then of supply, these are products related to defense, public health and biotechnology, telecommunications technologies, energy, transport and food production and the supply of agricultural raw materials. . The choice appears obvious in order to have operational and decision-making autonomy to be practiced on one’s own territory and for allies. Of course, the latest political and commercial tensions have imposed this path, but even a summary analysis can allow us to affirm how this process is overdue for the world balance and to recover the gap produced up to now by the previous situation. The strategy of the American president is completed by the desire to collaborate, first of all in these six strategic areas, with European, Latin American and Asian allies. This is a reversal of the trend, with respect to the isolationism carried on by Trump, which unwittingly supported the Chinese dominance of industrial production; however, the problem of delocalization does not seem completely overcome: in fact, the legitimate involvement of countries with low labor costs risks moving production from China to other countries, which, moreover, do not have Chinese production knowledge. The path to be faced must be supported by the states to bring essential productions back to the western borders first, but this is not enough, it is also necessary to proceed on the path of a new more complete industrialization, which must also include productions considered less essential, but complementary and able to ensure even greater autonomy. Certainly one cannot think that every member of the Western allies can recreate a completely autonomous productive fabric on its own territory, but this strategy must be conceived and implemented at the level of a global alliance, taking into account, however, the peculiarities of local industrial fabrics, which increase its autonomy by being able to count on a production quality of the products to be assembled at least equal to that of China. The process, therefore, is not short and not easy and involves substantial financial and knowledge transfers to the new production partners, whose reliable reliability must, however, be verified, not only in terms of alliance, but of sharing political principles. about respect for human rights. In fact, a lot is played out on this issue on the comparison of Western countries, with the US as the main interpreter, the comparison with China, which leads to the need to prevent any blocks of production parts necessary for Western industry. Naturally, the boundary between commercial necessity and political rivalry has become increasingly blurred and Beijing’s desire to increase its political weight will be a determining factor for relations with China, which must be marked by greater diplomatic etiquette, without however to withdraw from the distinctive western qualities, first of all human rights even outside the perimeter of the western alliance.