20170707 German problem

1. The battle-lines are drawn. When the world's big trading nations convene this week at a G20 summit in Hamburg, the stage is set for a clash between a protectionist America and a free-trading Germany.

2. President Trump has already pulled out of one trade pact.

3. He is weighing whether to impose tariffs on steel imports into America, a move that would almost certainly provoke retaliation.

retaliation: 报复 *in retaliation for/against

4. The threat of a trade war has hung over the Trump presidency. In contrast, Merkel will bang the drum for free trade. In a thinly veiled attack on Mr Trump, she delivered a speech condemning the forces of protectionism and isolationism. 

thinly veiled=only slightly hidden 不加掩饰的

5. An imminent free-trade deal between Japan and the European Union will add substance to her rhetoric.

6. There is no question who has the better of this argument.

7. His belief that tariffs will level the playing field is naive and dangerous: they would shrink prosperity for all. But in one respect, at least, Mr Trump has grasped an inconvenient truth

8. He has admonished Germany for its trade surplus, which stood at almost $300bn last year, the world's largest (China's hoard was a mere $200bn).

admonish sb for (doing) sth: to tell sb severely that they have done sth wrong 严厉批评

hoard: 储备金

9. Underlying Germany's surplus is a decades-old accord between business and unions in favour of wage restraint to keep export industries competitive.

accord:  *accord on sth 正式协定 ; of sb's own accord 主动地;be in accord with sth 与...一致

10. mercantilist government policy 重商主义经济政策

11. Such moderation served Germany's exported-led economy well through its postwar recovery and beyond.

moderation: 节制,克制

*He encouraged moderation and toleration on religious issues. 克制和容忍

*Moderation in diet is the way to good health. 节制饮食

12. It is an instinct that helps explain Germany's transformation since the late 1990s from Europe's sick man to today's muscle-bound champion.

13. There is much to envy in Germany's model. 

       But the adverse side-effects of the model are increasingly evident.

14. Harmony between firms and workers has been one of the main reasons for the economy's outperformance. Firms could invest free from the worry that unions would hold them to ransom.

outperform(v): to be more successful than sb and sth else胜过

hold sb to ransom要挟某人

15. In America the prospects for men without college degrees have worsened along with a decline in manufacturing jobs-- a cause of the economic nationalism espoused by Mr Trump.

espouse: to support an idea, belief, esp. a political one 支持,拥护

16. Germany has not entirely escaped this, but it has held on to more of the sorts of blue-collar jobs that America grieves for. This is one reason why the populist AfD party remains on the fringes of German politics.

17. But the adverse side-effects of the model are increasingly evident.

adverse不利的,反面的; adversity逆境

18. perilous非常危险的; windfall profits意外的巨额利润

19. The  Netherlands has been piling up big surpluses.

pile up 积累(问题,工作)

Problems were piling up at work.

20. To offset such surpluses and sustain enough aggregate demand to keep people in work, the rest of the world must borrow and spend with equal abandon.

offset: 补偿,抵消 *offset sth against sth

.He was able to offset his travel expenses against tax. 用旅费抵税

mitigate: to make a situation or the effects of sth less unpleasant, harmful, or serious 减轻,缓和

Measures need to be taken to mitigate the environmental effects of burning more coal.

defray costs/expenses 支付费用

aggregate (a) 总计的; (v) (主动)合计为;(被动)聚集;合计

A wife's income is no longer aggregated with that of her husband.

abandon (n) 尽情;放任 *with reckless/wild abandon

21. glut=surplus 供过于求;过剩

22. In the high-inflation 1970s and 1980s Germany's penchant for high saving was a stabilising force. Now it is a drag on global growth and a target for protectionists.

a/sb's penchant for sth 对... 的嗜好

stable stabilise stabilisation 稳定

23. Perhaps Germany's bumper trade surplus will be eroded as China's was, by a surge in wages.

bumper 盛大,特大的 *bumper crop/harvest 大丰收

erode: to gradually reduce sth such as sb's power or confidence 逐渐削弱

24. Yet the German instinct for caution is deeply rooted.

25. Left to adjust, the surplus might take many years to fall to a sensible level.

26. Its school buildings and roads are crumbling, because of the squeeze on public investment required to meet its own misguided fiscal rules. The economy lags behind in its readiness for digitalisation, ranking 25th in the world in average download speeds. Greater provision of after-school care by the state would let more mothers work full-time, in an economy where women's participation is low.

27. Yet in a market economy, there is a tired and trusted way to bid for scarce resources: pay more. 

scarce: 不足的,缺乏的 *scarce resources 紧缺资源

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