OPINIONS Observer: Americans now understand trade war was a bad move

OPINIONS

Observer: Americans now understand trade war was a bad move

By Ni Tao | People's Daily app

20:40, August 08, 2019

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In recent days, US media organizations have in successive articles questioned the Trump administration’s trade policy. Gradually, more and more Americans are realizing that the trade war was a bad move and will only bring lasting affliction.

In the New York Times’ editorial on Tuesday, “President Trump’s Fruitless Trade War”, the United States was described as “mired instead in an escalating trade conflict with no clear strategy, no discernible goals and no end in sight”. The editorial noticed that "tariffs are a tax ultimately paid by American businesses and consumers", and “many farmers are unhappy about the standoff”.

The Washington Post warned in an editorial on the same day that “this situation threatens economic growth both in the United States and the world, because of the direct impact of higher prices on US consumer spending, and the indirect impact of the uncertainty that the US-China conflict is sowing among investors". 

The US economic outlook is simply not as rosy and bright as President Trump described in his tweets. Because of concerns over a recession sparked by his trade war, investors are seeking safe havens by buying up government bonds and investing in gold, according to CNN.

Data showed that US growth in the second quarter slowed to 2.1 percent with gross private domestic investment plunging by an alarming 5.5 percent. US manufacturing as measured by the Federal Reserve has also declined for two straight quarters, the technical definition of recession. US analysts believe this is in large part due to higher input costs based on Trump administration’s tariffs and uncertainty among businesses about what tariffs might come next.

The US Treasury Department this Monday labeled China a so-called "currency manipulator,” though it failed to meet the quantitative criteria set by itself. Lawrence Summers, a former US treasury secretary, said in an opinion piece in the Washington Post that the move damaged US credibility, adding, "the depreciation of the yuan was not artificial, but an entirely natural market response to newly imposed US tariffs."

American international credibility has been constantly overdrawn by some politicians for a long time under the bewilderment of the slogan “America first.” The politicians have severely damaged the rules-based international order, unilaterally provoking and escalating trade frictions with many countries.

What goes around comes around. Under the banner of “America first,” some Americans are wantonly escalating economic and trade frictions against China, which will only harm more and more American enterprises and consumers and inject huge risks into the world economy.

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