In China, multinational manufacturers are confronting a first-in-a-generation structural slowdown. Vigilance is in order. Panic is not. The bottom will not fall out of the market but some sectors may enter a state of suspended animation.
Interestingly, today, the phrase "silk road" is being revived in China as a centerpiece of an emerging shift in Chinese foreign policy in support of the nation's arrival as a global economic power, again a dominant player in world trade.
What we're seeing emerge is not a military or ideological counterweight to the United States in Russia and China, but rather a financial one that doesn't even need an army to fight it's wars, but only buyers.
With the U.S. Commerce Department's preliminary decision to impose 31-percent anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic solar panels, some commentators warned that this is the first shot in a job-killing trade war with China. Prediction of a trade war is largely a dangerous myth.
The world's biggest exporters, led by China, are ganging up on the United States in advance of the G20 meeting against quantitative easing. Free trade and globalization are grand ideas when the playing field is level, but it isn't.