Now look at it from the other side. The world has seen famine and starvation for centuries. The populated nations with limited farmland like China, India, Japan, etc. must have sufficient agricultural products to feed their citizens. Their policies can only fall on two choices, one to work hard to produce their products to trade for food and other resources lacking; and the alternative is to develop their own agricultural products to feed themselves. The former case depends on a fair stable functioning trading system free of price manipulation and trade barriers. The latter approach is hard to achieve but necessary if the trading route is not reliable. The U.S. has always been in an envious position regarding agricultural industry. Why today many nations, including China and Japan, work extremely hard to develop their own agricultural industry, even limiting importing the abundant US agricultural products? This is an RTP question to be pondered. Did the U.S. do something wrong in her policies? Why do the other countries feel insecure to rely on US agricultural supply? Now with trade war looming, a serious RTP should be made on these questions immediately to avoid a trade war or a military war triggered by food supply.
As countries develop, they move up in the technology ladder. The U.S. has been leading in many technologies and certainly understand the phenomena of obsolesces created by technology advances. Come with technology advances, there is productivity gain but unfortunately often incurring loss in manual jobs. That is the fact of life; every developing country is pursuing that route knowingly. It is the government and industry leaders’ responsibility to manage the development process. A technologically advanced country must be prepared to maintain her advancement and accept other countries catching up in some technologies. This will happen within an industry and selectively industry by industry; ultimately the process will make some industries disappear in hi-tech nations. If a high-tech nation cannot create new jobs and new industries to replace the lost ones, there will be a serious social problem. Again this is a fact of life and one cannot blame other countries for losing an industry or its jobs. The hi-tech nation must accept this outcome and try to fix this problem with innovation. Keep developing hi-tech products and selling to low tech countries is the logical way of keeping the hi-tech industry growing. Restricting hi-tech export and forcing other countries not to pursue technological advances do not seem to be logical nor fair policies. One must apply the RTP and figure out complimentary technology development since no country can monopolize all technologies either due to limitation on natural resources (such as oil or rare earth metal) or lack of educated or trained talents.
As reflected in the stock market, hi-tech and innovative companies drive the economy. That is the fundamental reason that nearly every nation wants to move up in the technology ladder if possible. It is no surprise that China and most developing countries are pursuing technology development and innovation. To help their progress, they use their markets as a leverage to obtain technology. The U.S. considers that an unfair practice from a technology leader’s perspective. But let’s apply RTP on technology and market holders. Technology is protected by patents. Presumably patents can enable hi-tech product manufacturing but hi-tech products need markets. Without market, product is useless then patents become worthless. Therefore, countries with markets can use market value to bargain and gain technology value. History tells us corporations sometimes buy and bury patents to protect their existing products and their market share. This corporate practice may prevent competitive products to surface for a while but eventually the corporations will get beaten by the startups unless they strive in innovations continuously. The startups must find their market place to grow. This process has no national borders in today’s world. Technology companies must find market place to make profits as long and as fast as they can before competition arrives. To deal with competition, one must keep inventing and innovating to stay competitive or move on to a newer and higher technology territory. Countries are just like collection of corporations; they should not thwart other country’s competitiveness which is the impetus for technological advances. Therefore, technology leading countries have no choice but work in the same way like hard working startups to compete and to keep moving up in the technology ladder.
China has been growing fast in the past several decades. They have cleverly recognized the value of her market size. Perhaps learned through her sad experience in late 19th and early 20th century when the Western powers forced her to open her markets under naval guns. Japan is a living case for striving in technology acquisition and eventually developing her own technology in certain key areas. If Japan can succeed, why can’t China succeed since China has far more natural resources and human talents than Japan does? It is understandable that China is not only protective of her markets but is also strategically leveraging her markets for gaining technology advances. For example, in the area of high-speed railway arena, Japan’s fast bullet train was leading the world competing with France. Now decades later, China has surpassed them to be the leader of high-speed rail. China has the need for high speed public transport because of her large population and vast land area. The government made conscientious decision to develop the technology to serve her own market. Now they can export that technology. The U.S. with just as big land mass also has a need for high speed public transportation, but why isn’t she developing her high-speed rail systems? Some blame the US auto-industry which pushes for high-ways and automobiles than for rails and trains. The question is what should the U.S.do to correct mistakes of public transportation policy and stay competitive?
The electric cars, buses and trains are the next wave of new technology. It is never too late to do a RTP to figure out a sensible approach. The American electric car company, Tesla, elects to build a huge 500,000 vehicle manufacturing factory in Shanghai, China to address the need of a strong Chinese electric car market, will they succeed like IPHONE becoming a dominating technology product making vast amount of profit? IPHONE faces competition from Huawei and Xiaomi and Tesla probably will have a strong competitor as well. But so what, while one is leading in technology, it can open markets and make profit, the important thing is to plow back the profit for new technology development rather than just paying back to shareholders or greedy investors. In fact, conducting a RTP will yield simple conclusions: technologies bring progress to civilization but inevitably always bring competition as well. One must accept competition as a fact of life. Face it to succeed or retreat to failure.