Trade deals and reform of WTO are better than trade wars: EU's Tusk

BIARRITZ, France, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) - Trade deals and the reform of WTO are better than trade wars. Trade wars will lead to recession, while trade deals will boost economy, said Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, on Saturday. He called for putting a stop to trade wars.


European Council President Donald Tusk gestures ahead of a debate on conclusions of the previous European Council Summit during a plenary session at the European Parliament on July 4, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France. (Photo: VCG)

"Trade wars among G7 members will lead to eroding the already weakened trust among us," he said during a press conference prior to the G7 summit.

US President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the US will raise existing duties on 250 billion dollar of Chinese products from 25 percent to 30 percent beginning on Oct. 1, and another 300 billion dollar worth of Chinese imports will see tariff rise from 10 percent to 15 percent on Sept. 1.

If Trump uses tariffs for political reasons it would be risky to the whole world, including the European Union, Tusk told reporters. 

China is firmly opposed to the US announcement that it will further raise the tariffs on about 550 billion US dollars of Chinese imports, said a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) Saturday.

"Such unilateral and bullying acts of trade protectionism and extreme pressure run counter to the consensus of the heads of state of China and the United States, and run counter to the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," the spokesperson said.

"China strongly urges the United States not to misjudge the situation, or underestimate the determination of the Chinese people. It must immediately stop its erroneous practices, or bear all the consequences," the spokesperson said.

Besides China, the US is currently at loggerheads with many countries, including G7 alliance from trade to security. Threatening Germany with car tariffs, Trump vowed to tax French wines if Paris levies digital tax on big U.S. technology companies; Casting Canada as a trade villain who "robs US blindly", he also sniffed at the European integration by encouraging Brexit with a "great trade deal" with London; Withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty one after another, he even showed his willingness to pull out some American forces in Germany unless Berlin increases defense spending to the 2-percent GDP threshold.    

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday treated his G7 colleagues in France's luxurious seaside resort Biarritz, a long-time summer playground of Europe's elites, to tackle rising global inequality.

In its 45 years, the club of wealth countries is facing unity crisis, with its pride and influence going downhill. With his America First policy, Trump has turned the G7 into a "G6 vs G1" game. The embarrassment was vividly told by a picture taken during the Quebec summit in Canada last year, showing Trump sitting with arms crossed in a defensive posture while German Chancellor Angela Merkel, centered by the other G7 leaders, leaned across the table at him.

Meanwhile, as every member has been mired in different sort of problems -- be it political, partisan, economic, societal or diplomatic -- the "top student club" is drastically losing its charm, legitimacy and even capability in providing global leadership.

"This is another G7 summit which will be a difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders. There is still no certainty whether the group will be able to find common solutions, and the global challenges are today really serious, or whether it will focus on senseless disputes among each other," Tusk told reporters at the conference.

"The last years have shown that it is increasingly difficult for all of us to find common language when the world needs our cooperation more, not less. This may be the last moment to restore our political community," he warned.