Is China's shrinking population an economic cause for alarm in the US?

Phillip Molnar, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Business News

Data released recently by the Chinese government shows its population has begun to shrink and that has some economists worried about the global economy.

China has powered the world's economy for decades with cheap labor and billions of products.

However, in recent years, many U.S. companies have moved operations out of Asia and to Mexico in a process called "near-shoring," as promoted in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

A secondary concern is for U.S. businesses that operate in China and rely on it for much of their revenues.

Q: Should China's shrinking population be an economic cause for alarm in the U.S.?

Norm Miller, University of San Diego


NO: U.S. consumers' insatiable appetites for cheap goods will be satisfied via world production shifting from China to countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Mexico. Population declines in China, Russia and Japan will financially stress their pensions, and slow down their economies. But, globally, the world's population and global GDP will not be declining. A decline in our U.S. population would be of much greater concern, again in part, because of a worker-to-retiree Social Security system.

Jamie Moraga, Franklin Revere

NO: It's something to watch and monitor but not be alarmed by at this time. We are a global economy so the U.S. will feel the effects of China's shrinking population. To mitigate any effects, the U.S. should continue returning manufacturing capabilities to the U.S. as relying on countries like China can lead to supply chain issues, trade and investment disruptions, and higher manufacturing costs. Manufacturing used to be one of America's strengths and now it's more of a weakness that is concerning for our national security and economic stability.

David Ely, San Diego State University


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