ON THE eve of the G7 Summit in France over the weekend US president Donald Trump ordered US companies to leave China and move their operations out of the country and bring them back to America.
Trump issued the order saying: ‘The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.’
This came after China vowed to retaliate with tariffs on $75 billion more of US goods and resume duties on American autos and parts, in response to Trump’s plan to impose duties on $300 billion worth of China’s goods.
Trump’s order to US companies to leave China immediately caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to dive by more than 600 points as the implications for US capitalism hit home, with industrialists and the media desperately claiming Trump does not have the political authority to enforce this order.
This is a claim strenuously denied by Trump’s aides who insist that he does. The fear Trump’s order has caused amongst the US capitalist class is understandable.
Far from China stealing money from America, US capitalism has exploited Chinese workers and made hundreds of billions of of dollars profit out of the exploitation for over 40 years. This can be traced back to the visit made by the then US president Richard Nixon to China in 1972, the first ever visit by a US president since the Chinese revolution.
Nixon’s visit was hailed as ‘breaking down the barriers’ with the deformed workers state and ushering in a period of detente. In fact, it ushered in a period of American capitalism expanding its industries and reaping vast profits from Chinese workers, encouraged by the Stalinist bureaucracy.
In 1979 there were 100 foreign-owned enterprises in China, by 1998 this had grown to 280,000, and by 2007 foreign companies employed 25 million people in China.
As of 2010, the last year accurate information is available, over 300,000 foreign companies had invested in China. Among the biggest investors are General Motors, along with the tech giants like Apple and Google, right though to manufacturers of clothing and pharmaceutical products.
No wonder the US capitalist class is up in arms at Trump’s order. They have made billions of profit on the backs of Chinese workers and relied on the Chinese Stalinist bureaucracy to police their investments for them.
Now Trump is threatening to end these profits in the cause of ‘Making America Great Again’ and in so doing has split the American ruling class apart. American imperialism today stands at the very centre of the world crisis of capitalism.
Whereas, throughout the earlier history of the 20th century, American capitalism was strong enough to take over the mantle from declining British imperialism as the dominant economic and political power, able to bail out world capitalism after World War II, today is itself gripped by crisis, drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, both national and private, and desperate to wage war on its rivals in order to survive.
Gone are the days when US imperialism could act as a stabilising influence on the world economy, now it is the cause of instability and crisis.
Trump’s order to US capitalism to give up its profits is a clear sign of the historic crisis of world capitalism where the war against rivals brings on complete economic and political collapse.
The only force in history that can put an end to the capitalist crisis is the powerful world working class.
In Britain this means organising a general strike to bring down the Johnson government, break with the EU and expropriate the bosses and bankers placing industry and the banks under the management of the working class and going forward to socialism.
This will win the support of the working class throughout Europe and the US to follow suit, while Chinese workers will play their part in the victory of the world socialist revolution with the political revolution to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy and replace it with the rule of workers’ soviets.