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China only interested in commodities, not in products that reach supermarkets

Saturday, August 11th 2012 - 11:03 UTC
Full article 48 comments

Trade with China for Argentina has great opportunities but also great threats because the Asian giant is only interested in produce with no added value, warned the head of Argentina’s Industrial Union, Ignacio De Mendiguren. Read full article


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  • Clyde15

    I would have thought that this was blatantly obvious to everyone .
    Europe and America have closed their manufacturing industries down and exported the manufacturing to China where it can be done more cheaply.
    Multi nationals can make bigger profits as the labour force in China work for less, have no health and safety provisions or any benefits that the more developed nations workers have striven for over the centuries.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 01:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • KretinaK

    The reality is NOBODY wants products manufactured in Argentina. The quality of Argentine produced products is laughable. The appliances both small and large last about 3 months until they break down. Cheap, shoddy materials, and the designs look like things that I found in my grandmothers basement in 1960. So if you like cheap, retro imitations that don't funcion and need to be constantly fixed, then go for the Argie junk. The factory workers work about 5 hours per day, for inflated salaries, and if their boss asks them to do anything they complain to the union shop steward, who files a lawsuit or calls a strike against the factory owner. This is how Argentina works! It's the biggest failed experiment ever, called the “República Argentina” that is ruled by the criminal Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (a/k/a scrotum neck) that has stolen BILLIONS of dollars from the Argentine people, tries everything in her power to squash her detractors, silence the press, opress the citizens, steal their money with extorsive and invented taxes, it's well known that she never even finished her law degree but says she is a a lawyer, her children the horribly ugly Florencia and pudgy fat Maximo have high ranking government positions but have never set foot in a university, a vice-president Amado Boudou who is a small time criminal mafioso who owns companies that he awards government contracts to for millions - Argentina is a bastion of modern day CORRUPTION - all countries should avoid doing business with Argentina like it was a PLAGUE - this Kirchner disaster cancer must be taken down and thrown to rot in jail forever along with her cronies - down with this PERONIST garbage who talk about “social justice” and are only interested in their own power and wealth and do NOTHING for the citizens of the country but steal their hard earned money and possessions and talk about how awesome they are. Cristina Kirchner even once said that “god wanted her to be president and rule Argentina”!

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 01:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    Extremely high taxes for exported minerals should solve the problem. Or a tax break on finished products can turn the tide in Argentina's favor.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 03:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    China doesn't want Argentina's car parts.
    Neither does China want soy oil - this would put its own workers out of employment because of the over-provision of pressing factories and refineries.
    It's a bit like Monopoly, where one player owns all the Hotels and the other has nothing to play with.
    Life is unfair, but it keeps you on your toes.

    I've no idea whether my screws and hammock-hooks were Mercosur imports from Argentina or were 'home-made', but the screws were un-tempered soft metal (unfit for purpose) and the hammock-hooks were 'silvered' mild-steel masquerading as 'stainless'. Net result .... collapse and an x-ray revealing a broken coccyx. Just one example of 3rd world quality-control.
    No, China has no interest in such manufacture.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 03:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • scarfo

    Last June Argentina and China signed cooperation agreements in nuclear energy as well as agriculture and fisheries during a visit to the region of Primer Minister Wen Jiabao.

    A few days later at a Mercosur summit in Mendoza, Argentina the group did not support the Wen Jiabao proposal to create a free trade zone between China and the group made up of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and now Venezuela.


    i thought Mercosur was one big happy family!!!

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 04:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (4) GeoffWard2

    That will certainly “keep you on your toes”.......
    Next time you buy something cheap, check.......

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 04:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • slattzzz

    @ 4 next time you buy something make sure it's not from rgenweener i think “think is saying”

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 05:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    #4 maybe you didn't spend enough, I bought two axes the first one for 15$ made in
    Canada and broke after going hunting, the second for 21$ and lasted me at least one year, my advise to you is don't be cheap no matter what country you are in. Specially when saving 50$ on a hammock could cost 500$ for your skull.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 06:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    #6, Think.
    ... not cheap, the best available. But the 24/7 salt in the air - surfing beach-front - finds out any weakness. Electricals and electronics really suffer!
    No excuse for shoddy manufacture, however.
    Still, if I wanted a total-quality-environment I would be in the London commuter belt, sharing the Olympics, wouldn't I.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 06:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    London stinks the city of garbage and black plague. Someone said that london smells like open sewer and it was even in the news a few days ago, some people live their life in denial.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 07:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    LOL! The black plague of the 14th century? LOL! It actually arrived in Europe in Genoa, Italy, sweeping through Europe before arriving in the UK. 600+ years ago. Honestly, the poor standard of education in Argentina should be held up as a warning to all developing countries.

    'Someone said' blah, blah LOL! You are priceless and very, very stupid.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 08:55 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    #6 hehehe

    #10 To be fair the black plague was a few hundred years ago now!

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 09:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    De Mendiguren is right about the dangers of China´s trade relationship with Argentina and in general with South America. They are coming to pick up the food and the raw material, purchasing lands and mining projects in Brazil and elsewhere in South America but they aren´t interested in anything else.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 09:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    “Someone said” - can you put a name to them.
    Someone said the moon is made of green cheese - not necessarily true !!

    If London “stinks” then the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the London Olympics don't seem to be aware of this.

    You may be referring to the Great Stink in the 1850's when the Thames was so polluted that it led to the installation to a huge sewage system to clean up the city.

    As to living one's life in denial , you live yours divorced from reality.
    Go back to swigging apple jack .
    I would guess that this was well in advance of anything like this in B.A.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 10:38 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • sammy

    the black plague is alive and well in the capital of the world and it's coming
    from the assehole called afrika.

    Aug 11th, 2012 - 11:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Guzz

    Sammy, are you a racist scandie? Or just racist?

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 06:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, saying otherwise is not only non-sense but also makes the commenter look like a fool.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 08:32 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • cornishair

    I have a feeling PH wasn't talking about the black plague! nice to see south american racism!.

    China is the world engine now, bit like we were in the 19th century when we made everything, i believe its call capitalist imperialism. Kinda like we rape your resources, you buy owe manufactured goods. Living in a country that had an empire, its always amusing to watch a new power rising.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 02:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    #18 cornishair,

    China´s rise is doom to fail, aging population, totalitarism, centralization of economic resources and feudalistic capitalism are all bad formulas for growth. The British Empire lasted long thanks to its institutional checks and balances, the same happens to the USA, the opposite killed the USSR and terminated the Othoman Empire as well, there are plenty of historical examples that tells us clearly that China will have to change, democratize and create solid institutions before they become the next world superpower, otherwise they will become old before they get rich.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 02:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • cornishair

    19. Yea i know China's population demographics are pretty bad, almost as bad as the US & europe. An aging population is a bad thing for any economy (thats not taking into account china's love of having boys, the one child laws & 160(ish) million extra men then women). I think china has a big chance becoming one of the main globle powers, “Pax Americana” isn't what it use to be, not the the US isn't a still a superpower anymore. It could still win any stand up fight, against any power. But can it afford too?.... the worlds going multipolar again.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 03:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey


    The USA, parts of Europe, Japan, Australia and some other countries can handle aging populations because their household income remains high and in fact the majorities age with private pension funds and medical care. More than 80% in the USA for example, so the state has to fund social security for less than 20% of the population.
    China´s social security profile is terrifying, that is why many economist point at population aging as China´s biggest dilema in 2020 and onwards. The hundreds of million of chinese working for one or two dollars a day today will not have access to private pension funds and medical care, the state will not be able to provide it either. So by 2025 China will have hundreds of million of old men without a social net. China could fall into economic stagnation and social crisis.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 03:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    It's a huge dilemma ....
    much of the world, and especially China with its HUGE population, has a demographic imbalance problem - largely as a result of policies to reduce the absolute population size of countries/ regions/ the world.

    Solutions (for China) might involve:
    a breeding programme to re-balance the demographies (unacceptable),
    a population relocation programme to either bring in cheap foreign carers of the old - like in the rich Arab countries (unacceptable?),
    a culling of the old programme (unacceptable).

    A super-rich 'country' can buy its way out of its problem, but only to the detriment of its feeder countries - like the high days of the Roman Empire, sucking resources out of the feeder world.

    Unfortunately, if China does NOT collapse under the strain (China WILL change, it is no longer politico-economically ossified), the vast majority of the globe will become China's 'feeder world'. As China sucks the world dry of essential commodities and progressively sequesters their flows, the 'empires' of the Romans, the Europeans, and the USA will be small beer compared to the world-impact of this latest (returned) empire.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 04:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    #22 GeoffWard2

    I don´t share the China superpower vision. China expanded economically during the last few decades thanks almost exclusively to cheap labor. But the conditions that allowed this economic expansion may no longer there.

    Sometimes size matters, for a while, then the wheel makes another turn, and things change. American industries are beating back with automation for manufacturing cars and all kinds of products, at home. Ford is making cars in the US and Europe with the help of robots, already there are thousands of garage shops utilizing 3d printing accross northamerica, making all kinds of products, with less people, sometimes without human labor. Nanotechnology and Robotics, Mechatronics are rapidly impacting industries in North America, Northern Europe and Japan and other parts of Asia, it is a new industrial revolution that will once again change the world.

    In a few years, maybe a decade, population size will mean less what it does today and China´s huge cheap labor advantage will become irrelevant. This industrial revolution that will reduce the need for human labor ever more is coming, whether we like it or not, and it will be nothing like the Luddite movement of textile artisans that destroyed mechanized looms in 19th-century England ever imagined. It will almost erase the need for human labor.

    Service oriented societies like the US, Northern Europe and other nations will reap the benefits, even smaller countries like Israel, Holland or Taiwan are already dreaming of producing as much as China in some industries, but without the need for large pools of labor.
    Population has been China´s biggest advantage and source of power, but it may very well turn agaisnt it and become a demographic nightmare if they are not careful with their industrial and economic policies.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 06:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    As long as China pay taxes when they buy in Argentina we are happy to do businesses with them. Let's just hope Argentina's export taxes go over the 20% mark.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 06:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    When the USA has automated production of most things, what will the people do to accumulate a pension?23#.And will China be able to do the same or not?

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 07:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey


    China will certainly develop automation and robotics, no doubt about it.

    I think the difference is that the US is a service oriented economy, with consolidated service sectors in banking, commerce, telecom, etc. The service sectors absorbed millions of workers who lost their jobs because of China´s exports.

    Automation, robotics, mechatronics, all of that will translate in massive lay-offs, but China´s smaller service sector and the absence of a social security net beyond their export-oriented economy will make it difficult to absorb the social costs.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 08:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Same question as Yul.
    How will those laid-off in the USA because there is no need for hands-on manufacture build a livin' pension?
    When the graduates spend forty years flipping burgers, there won't be much in the pension pot. Or will the burger-flippers be being paid as much as vehicle builders, etc.?
    Not a naive question... though a bit flippant. Just can't see nations being able to survive long-term on just a service sector.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 11:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey


    The US is an economy with a predominant service sector, the idea of average american graduates flipping burgers or working at a low-end job in Walmart is completely misguided.

    Most northamericans are generating GDP in sectors such as Telecommunication, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare/hospitals, Public health, Waste disposal, Education, Banking, Insurance, Financial services
    Legal services, Consulting, Information technology, News medias, Gaming, Tourism, Retail sales, Franchising, Real estate, Government, etc.

    The Ipad manufactured in China or Brazil is designed in California or somewhere else in the US, same as the products you buy in a Starbucks in Mexico City or London. Same for the MacDonald burger or desserts, same for hundreds of thousands of products and services.

    Aug 12th, 2012 - 11:47 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    That's a nice list of productive sectors 28#.But what says they can't be sectors in the economies of India brazil Germany or China.There's a certain smugness in thinking that
    1/These sectors are exclusive to the USA and will not become less profitable as competition (and counterfeiting) eats into these sectors.
    2/Some of these sectors are drawing in foreign nationals who do not necessaryily have allegiance to the USA.
    You are going to support Romney are you,or do you disagree with his assumption that the USA cannot provide a decent living for all Americans ie including the sick,the old and the unemployed?

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 10:43 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    “Telecommunication, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare/hospitals, Public health, Waste disposal, Education, Banking, Insurance, Financial services, Legal services, Consulting, Information technology, News medias, Gaming, Tourism, Retail sales, Franchising, Real estate, Government, etc. ” #28

    I think you've just described the economies of virtually every country in the Western world ... and all with lower 'costs' than the USA.
    The only way the USA can succeed is by causing these 'industries' to decline and fall in these Western competing countries.
    .... hang on! Isn't that what the USA is doing to the non-US banking corporations, pharmaceuticals, etc.?

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 11:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    The USA's only significant industry is the war machine and China is watching that.

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 12:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • thorpeman

    It depends on what your selling, if all you make is tut then yes they wont want it but if your knocking together Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Range Rovers, Aston Martins & Jaguars then things might be slightly different

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 01:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    32# Are you following this thread or what are you saying.If who makes tut and who makes bentleys?

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 06:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15

    I think he meant to say “tat” - which means low quality goods which do not last.

    Aug 13th, 2012 - 09:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    30 GeoffWard2,

    So if Brazil can create the same services at lower costs, why haven´t they generated the Steve Jobs, the Mark Zuckerbergs?

    It´s not that easy.

    Aug 14th, 2012 - 04:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    35#No thats not easy,it's simplistic.
    What is it about Facebook ? It's growth.Its originality.It productive capabilities.Or it's added value?
    If somebody bans it from a large population what can be done.And how many pensions will it generate?Will it contribute tax for welfare spending or jobs for the millions without jobs.

    Aug 14th, 2012 - 12:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Simon68

    36 Yuleno (#)

    Right that's Mark Zuckerberg dealt with, now let's talk about Steve Jobs, Apple employs well over 60.000 people WORLD WIDE, and produces US$26 million per anum on which it pays taxes and it's ahare of pensions.

    It seems that you are being a little biased in your way of looking at things. Brazil is not producing the entreprenuers that the USA does, because it lacks the business funding for the universities, in the same way as the rest of South America.

    Aug 14th, 2012 - 03:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    The problem isn't technology, the problem is neoliberalism and dare I say it, capitalism itself - if society put people first, better technology could mean less, but some, work for everyone, rather than making 99% of the population surplus to requirements which seems like the danger if Jose's predictions of a second industrial revolution come true

    Aug 14th, 2012 - 03:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    37# the 60.000 worldwide are not in the USA.They will not be getting a pension in the USA.So Apple,rather than Steve Jobs, and the like have to assemble worldwide to produce at the price it does.
    This is what we are posting about isn't it.How does the USA reduce unemployment,so that more of the people can provide a pension for themselves,among other things.It amazes me how people still believe in wonder men that will save the world for capitalism.What about the people with no work through no fault of their own.And don't give me they all wasters.

    Aug 14th, 2012 - 07:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#35) “So if Brazil can create the same services at lower costs, why haven´t they generated the Steve Jobs, the Mark Zuckerbergs?”

    I'm pretty sure that Saverin, co-creator of the social network known as Facebook, is a Brasilian.

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 12:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    40# Saverin is Brasilian,Geoff but if you look back on Jose he include Starbucks and McDonald in his saviours of the USA's workers .
    Mexico would include Carlos Slim.Brasil,Eike Batista.India,Mittel,ect.
    Zuckerberg didn't invent today's Facebook it grew in the Internet boom,and in 25years we will look back without any of the wonder that the the story has today.The printing press has a similar role in the creation of book publishing and the newspaper industry.
    Romance is a wonderful activity of the human race,even that has created wealth for some.But to solve the contemporary problems in the world needs will not magicians.Do you think?

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 05:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Yes, Yul,
    at its very basal level, the contemporary problems in the world needs ...

    trees by the trillion, if we are to avoid the desertification of the vast majority of the world. And trees not cut down every year for fuelling clay cookers. It would be sad if, in a couple of millenia (a short time), the surface of land on Earth looked like the Mars pictures we are currently receiving.

    GM on many crop types for all appropriate 'survival zones'.

    And to make this all happen?
    The eradication of corrupt individuals in society....
    If they cannot be persuaded to act ethically, I would be in favour of 'removing them permanently', and replacing them with individuals of true 'ethical intelligence' who work for the common good.
    Yes, I know this would need the removal of - arguably - all today's politicians, leaders of industry, religious leaders, etc.
    It would need a 'phasing in' - pretty much like Dilma Rousseff's approach. Too long, and the individuals of change become compromised; too short and they become dead.
    Countries would argue that they need these 'essential workers' (= corrupt'Leaders') to keep them competitive against other nations.

    Who would be these supra-national world managers?
    When I started my lifetime the answer would have been the League of Nations.
    During my life two competing paradigms of world leadership have prevailed
    - the hegemony of 'lead nation' and support nations, maintained by power.
    - the United Nations.
    The jury is out about which paradigm will - and should - prevail.
    Brute strength supplies power, but this demands 'Losers'. A 'better world' is incompatible with the concept of Losers in thrall to Hegemonic Winners.
    The United Nations, in its present form is unfit for your purpose, Yul. But a sensible starting point is to stop hegemonic countries from blocking humanitarian intervention in places like Syria. It is unacceptable for nations to use the poor places and populations of the world as free-fire weapons testing zones.

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 07:05 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    42# Geoff . There is plenty of romance in your post,but I understand your meaning I think.The trouble is,I don't think anyone else is listening,here or in most places.We will endure. :-)

    Aug 15th, 2012 - 10:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Yes, Yul, my generation is a 'write-off'.
    It will be down to you and thinking, ethical and forceful people of your age.

    Aug 16th, 2012 - 10:04 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    Don't let people write you off it's up to you to keep your space.Its your right and not asserting yourself will encourage the bullies.
    I guess this threads finished 'they've ' moved on.

    Aug 16th, 2012 - 01:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • malicious bloke

    “The eradication of corrupt individuals in society....
    If they cannot be persuaded to act ethically, I would be in favour of 'removing them permanently', and replacing them with individuals of true 'ethical intelligence' who work for the common good.”

    Firstly, greed is a basic human drive, corruption is merely an act of the greedy in a position of power.

    Secondly, change a couple of adjectives in that and it could be something from the writings of Pol Pot. What you end up with if you start using force to imprint your ideology on the populace is not enlightenment but a bloodbath and eventual overthrow.

    Jus' sayin'

    Aug 16th, 2012 - 06:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Yuleno

    What like in Libya,the Congo ect.Greed is not a basic instinct.Greed is a perversion.You don't see greedy animals other than in humans.
    I don't believe there was any offer of persuasion by the Pol Pot regime, so I don't see the comparison.
    If persuasion failed to change unethical behaviour would you advocate submitting to the unethical.

    Aug 16th, 2012 - 07:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Yes #46, I am aware.
    But just relying on the corrupt to change their nature willingly is particularly unrewarding.
    When the prize is survival of the species, such a strategy just doesn't cut it.
    We are debating whether ethics - rather than corruption - can provide a future for the human species.
    I ask you, is it more ethical to remove the criminal and corrupt for the sake of the rest, or is it more ethical to allow the criminal and corrupt to dominate, accepting that this brings demise of the human species?

    Aug 16th, 2012 - 08:01 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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