OPINIONS Trump's escalated trade war is trying the world's bottom line with bullying

OPINIONS

Trump's escalated trade war is trying the world's bottom line with bullying

People's Daily app

14:48, July 12, 2018

The White House trade policy appears to have completely lost its rationality. The misconduct of bullying has accelerated rapidly enough to shock the entire world. 

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The Trump administration announced a list of $200 billion in Chinese goods on July 10. This is totally unacceptable and we protest.

Friendship cannot stand always on one side. In order to safeguard the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, China will vigorously take necessary counter-measures against the trade war initiated by the United States. 

Proof can be found in history that waging a trade war is as dangerous as playing with fire. One thing for sure is that no side will ever benefit from a trade war. Upon the release of the tariff list, the American Chamber of Commerce China (AmCham China) immediately issued a statement saying that counter-productive import tariffs, such as these, hurt not only the economies of the US and China, but those of every country around the world. While our 900 member companies continue to suffer from not having a level playing field in China, they are still extremely clear: Increased tensions in the US-China economic relationship will negatively impact their operations in China.

On behalf of AmCham China, Chairman William Zarit urged the two governments to come back to the negotiating table for productive discussions based on achieving results – focused on fairness and reciprocal treatment – instead of escalating the current situation, the statement added. 

The White House decided to turn a deaf ear to the warning and stay away from reality. Some politicians are addicted to unilateral protectionism and could hardly extricate themselves. They even claimed “trade wars are good, and easy to win”, imagining that through extreme pressure the US might force China to abandon its core interests and make concessions. 

Where does such a daydreaming mindset come from? It’s not day one since China and US have had diplomatic relationships. In the face of external pressure, China has not compromised its national interests. The US government should bear in mind China’s diplomatic style, which is we are not trouble makers, and we are not afraid of problems. If there is a plot that would force China to abandon its core interests, it is destined to be the biggest strategic misjudgment. China will not concede in the face of threats and extortion, nor will it shake its determination to defend global free trade and the multilateral system.

“Good governance will lead to benefits while harm is rooted in chaos”, and an orderly international trading system is a common need of all countries and an important cornerstone of global economic growth. The Trump administration that practices trade hegemony is hurting the economy and destroying its own international image. Ultimately, it will only be trapped in an embarrassing situation due to its overbearing and conceited mindset which escalated the trade war. 

The US government refuses to learn lessons from history and moves abusively. We are living in an era where the economies of various countries are integrated into the global industrial and value chain with strong interdependence. Working on partnerships and seeking common goals are the right choice. Sticking to the old mindset of a "zero-sum game" and arbitrarily initiating a trade war not only harms the interests of both countries, but also hurts the interests of all parties in the global industrial chain. If we look back at history, the US government has pressured other countries by imposing tariffs. The result was a negative impact either in US jobs or in booking pipelines, dragging the US and the world economy into recession in the long run. The reckless unilateral protectionist approach of the US government seems to be aimed at China but is also hurting the US and the world. 

The international community is concerned and resents the US’ irresponsible trade policy. The International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that Trump’s controversial new import tariffs pose a threat to the global trading system and will ultimately damage the US economy; the US must bear the consequences of its tariff measures on the world trading system. Roberto Azevedo, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization warned that the global trading system is wobbling. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that it is the American people who are paying for those tariffs. The governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney said that the US will end up being the biggest loser in a full-blown trade war. The US trade hegemony is spreading like crazy vines. If such moves continue the world economy will eventually be dragged into recession.

No matter how the external environment changes, China will focus on its strategic goals, move forward on its own pace by continuing reform and opening-up, and enhance the high quality of economic growth. China will develop and accelerate the construction of a modern economic system. Driven by new momentum, China's economy is full of resilience and dynamic potential. We are fully capable of responding to any challenge and transforming external pressure into the intrinsic motivation for high quality development. China will, as always, join the international community in safeguarding the rules of free trade and the multilateral trading system through jointly attacking US trade hegemony and winning the battle of multilateralism against unilateralism, free trade against protectionism and playing by the rules against superpowers.

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