In the USA, there is talk of a fuel shortage -especially diesel- worse than that of the 1970s crisis, while countries like Sri Lanka are receiving large shipments of diesel -in this case from India- to make up for a shortage that is already paralyzing the productive apparatus. Diesel stocks are running out all over the world, not only as a result of the lack of adaptability of the chains in the face of unexpected changes – as is the case in the semiconductor sector – but also as a direct consequence of the breakdown of the world productive structure that began with the trade war and has accelerated with the open war in Ukraine.
Tag: international division of labor
The implementation of the agreement between Argentina and the IMF, which is now being defined, is getting closer and closer to becoming a real rescue plan for national capital… on account of draconian measures that will reduce the purchasing power of wages by no less than 30%. All this in a country where, already nowadays, almost a third of the workers cannot buy the basic basket of goods with the income provided by their work.
The CEOs of two of the largest US funds, BlackRock and Oaktree, have issued open letters to their shareholders on the occasion of the war in Ukraine in which they pronounced the end of “globalization” and set out broad guidelines for the world’s corporate giants. These encyclicals have enormous prescriptive power among the corporate bourgeoisie. The global turn to the War Economy is happening too fast and the “Gospel of post-globalization” can hardly wait.
“Food security” is moving to the forefront of the priorities of European states. The agrarian war economy that shaped the EU in the Cold War is back on the immediate agenda. Far beyond sunflower and grains, globally there will come a famine and a new international division of agri-food production; and in Europe a regression of social relations in the countryside and a new push towards the most harmful elements of the agri-food industry. Agri-food production is on the way to becoming war production.
Industrial shortages are not just a British problem. In Spain they cut industrial output and weigh down the “recovery” despite rising demand. In Germany, the entire industrial production is being disrupted. Chaos reaches such a point that US industrialists call for a truce in the trade war against China and China is unblocking Australian coal imports. But make no mistake, all of these are part of what the EU calls “a war-like effort”. The world’s supply chains are on the verge of collapse.
The industrial shortage is not limited to chips anymore. Hundreds of large companies are stopping production at different points in the global chain. The EU and Japan, fearful that U.S. harassment of Chinese products will affect their international investments, are pushing for accelerated repatriation of low-profit but high-impact industries. However, the new Covid wave and the floods in Germany and China have shown that industrial destocking and its aftermath for workers -temporary layoffs and even more precariousness…-are not a passing phenomenon.
Today’s news alone makes it clear that the EU is coming apart at the seams in the East… both among its members and with those aspiring countries in the Western Balkans. Tensions from which China, Turkey and Russia are far from being alien. But France and Germany are looking for more than just public works markets. They seek to create a low-wage region in order to shorten their production chains, increase margins and become less dependent on Asia.
The collapse of the “just in time” chains during the Chinese confinement, the chips and the first global crisis of industrial shortages in “peacetime” and the interruption of the Suez Canal, signal and feed the new international division of labor. It will be paid for by the workers and it prepares the war.