WORLD Exclusive interview with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Trade war benefits no one


Exclusive interview with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Trade war benefits no one


02:53, September 18, 2018

Michigan governor.jpg

A trade war between China and the US benefits no one, and China's investment and market are both important for American businesses, said Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan. (Photo: CGTN)

Tariffs cannot help address trade issues

The governor shared his concern on the current China-US trade frictions, hoping for no more escalation in the future.

"We've had great relations. We've seen a lot of success with China in terms of both sides winning, in terms of people having job opportunities they didn't have before," he said, calling the two countries to jointly address issues.

"And I think we need to encourage more trade rather than less... And I hear it from Chinese companies. I can tell you, I hear it from American companies also concerned about how we keep this in terms of if we have issues to address. Let's get them addressed, let's get behind this and let's do more business together," he said.

Washington right now is thinking about imposing tariffs on some 200 billion US dollars worth of Chinese goods. And if that does happen, not only the small businesses, but also consumers would suffer. From his perspective, an adverse environment cannot help address the issues.

"Again, I think there are still things to improve in terms of trade relations and intellectual property... But, let's not get in a trade war, let's not create an adverse environment if we can help it because again that only hurts everyone versus saying we have proactive trade," Snyder stressed.

China's investment and market are significant for the US

Michigan is famous for its agriculture, tourism, automotive industry and manufacturing, all of which are "in common with China," said Snyder. Therefore, he believed that Michigan is a great illustration of China-US cooperation. 

"One of the most important things in the world is what's becoming the mobility industry. It's really the automotive industry combining with the IT industry... We're a big agriculture state. Tourism, we're encouraging more... We're the number one state for the creation of manufacturing jobs over the last eight years in the entire nation. So I see that in common with China," he explained.

He stressed that Chinese investment plays a significant role in terms of boosting Michigan's economic growth.

"Michigan didn't have much of a relationship with China until I became Governor. I made a focused effort out of this... If you go back ten years ago and ask people in China about Michigan, they say 'what's a Michigan?' Most people didn't know about the state... Now after eight years, we're actually number three in terms of the rank state for the number of jobs created by foreign direct investment from China over the last several years. That's huge in terms of helping our economy grow," the governor said.

Concerning the long-term opportunity of the Chinese market, Snyder thought that US businesses view it very much as a positive. "China is now our number three market in terms of imports and exports coming into our state. And if you look at the Chinese domestic market, [it] is becoming more and more important within China, but also an opportunity for countries such as ours to sell products here."

Also, he believed that more Americans doing businesses in China are not just about "a transaction selling something once," but also about a long-term relationship.

"I view this as about long-term relationships. This is not just about a transaction selling something once. Good business and good relationships between countries are about a long-term relationship. You can have ups and downs, but let's stay focused on the positives and how we can do more together," Snyder told CGTN.

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