Experts oppose Trump’s higher tariffs proposal


(Photo: CGTN)

Trade tensions between the United States and China ratcheted up on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump said he’s considering raising tariffs on 200 billion US dollars' worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent up from the 10 percent proposed earlier. The potential move was strongly opposed domestically and internationally.

US congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano explicitly expressed her opposition to the escalatory move. China-US bilateral trade plays a significant role in America’s total foreign trade, and most of American enterprises work closely with Chinese partners. She warned that potential higher tariffs would definitely hurt American companies themselves.

Dr. Stephen Roach, senior lecturer at the Jackson Institute of Yale School of Management, said that multilateral companies should be careful before condemning the practice of joint venture arrangements in China as many of them "are not forced to turn over anything."

"No one is forcing them (American companies) to go to a joint venture (JV) arrangement if they want to do business in China," he said. 

“If they're uncomfortable with the requirements of the JV, whether it has to do with sharing technology or people or capital as a stipulation for doing business in China, don't do it. No one is forcing them to do that,” Roach added.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference on the sidelines of the China-ASEAN (10+1) foreign ministers' meeting in Singapore that the China-US "trade imbalance" issues argued by Washington cannot be solved through increasing tariffs.

"Many China-made products are no longer manufactured in the United States. So does it mean that the US tariffs were intended to raise their living costs for American consumers or to burden them? Another point is that if the US was able to reduce the import of China-made products – via tariffs – but they still import similar products from other countries, it doesn't solve what the US calls a 'trade imbalance' issue,” the minister questioned.

Trump’s tariff policy is also resisted in India. In response to the US decision to hike duties on certain steel and aluminum products, India announced in June it is raising tariffs on 29 items from the US by up to 50 percent.

Swaran Singh from Jawaharlal Nehru University said it is unwise for Trump to launch a trade war, as the traditional calculation of trade surplus is unable to fully reflect the current situation of trade frictions between China and the US.