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Comparison of trade rivalries

Comparison of Trade Rivalries

The German-Great Britain trade rivalry like the U.S.-Japan

trade rivalry involved a rising power cutting into the trade of

an already dominant trading power. There were several causes of the

German-Great Britain trade rivalry according to Hoffman. The first was

German's industry's zeal in procuring new contracts and expanding

markets. They did this by fulfilling contracts even if they were very

small and constantly trying to stay up with market demand. Second,

Germans had a knowledge of languages that the English firms lacked.

Third, German industry was aided by their government. In contrast

Great Britain did not even supply consular assistance in helping

develop markets in British colonies. Fourth, British trade was hurt by

the conservatism of British manufacturers who were unwilling to

develop new markets or hold onto those it already possessed. These

four factors are just some of the factors that helped German industry

grow and rival that of Great Britain.

These four factors are all very similar to the Japan-U.S.

trade rivalry. Japan like Germany was able to catch up to the U.S.

because the U.S. was large and arrogant and refused to believe it

could face competition from Japan. Like Britain, U.S. industry

believed that they could hold onto markets and would not face

competition. British and U.S. industry were startled by the fast rate

of growth and industrialization that allowed Germany and Japan to

transform themselves quickly into trading rivals. This fast rate of

growth also caused friction between both sets of countries. Relations

between Germany and Great Britain were damaged as they bickered over

markets in particular colonies in Africa . This is similar to the

friction between the U.S. and Japan unfair trading practices and

closed markets.

Both the U.S. and Great Britain in response to losing markets

toyed with the idea of economic nationalism and tariffs. As Britain

lost markets to Germany many in Britain felt that Britain should adopt

tariffs on goods while others known as the free traders believed that

a free trade would benefit Britain by creating markets. This split

between Tariff Reformers and Free Traders is similar to the split in

the U.S. between those in favor of free trade and those opposed to it.

Germany's grab for new markets in the 1890's through commercial

treaties such as the 1891 treaty with Austria-Hungry is similar to

both the United States and Japan's free trade zones with neighboring

countries using treaties such as ASEAN and NAFTA.

The German-Great Britain trade rivalry is different then the

U.S.-Japan trade rivalry because a large sector of Japan's market for

selling goods is the United States who it is competing against; this

was not true of Germany. Both Britain and Germany were competing for

markets outside of both their countries. Also the trade rivalry

between Japan and the United States did not involve a fight over

colonies. Trade rivalries between rising and dominant powers change

little over time. The German-British trade rivalry and the Japan U.S.

rivalry were very similar in their causes, effects, and the solutions

that both sets of governments used to overcome their trading rival.

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