Peoples Daily Commentator
BEIJING: July 6th is destined to leave a large mark in the history of international trade, as that is the day that US violated WTO rules and launched the largest-ever trade war by imposing a 25% tariffs on the $34-billion-worth of Chinese imports. The move will not shake the foundation of China’s economic development nor weaken the confidence of the Chinese people in achieving the “two 100-year plans.” However, US arrogance and trade hegemonism place the world in jeopardy. The US has not only harmed the interests of the two countries’ enterprises and people, but has also put the global trading system and multilateralism in jeopardy. This will further hinder the pace of the global economic recovery.
The economies of the two countries are deeply intertwined. What worries does Washington have when solving the so-called “loss” problems with other trading partners, as it dares to fight with its largest trading partner and world’s second largest economy? Once US trade hegemonism takes over free trade, how can a fair international economic order be guaranteed?
The US’s wishful thinking will come to a dead end. If the US takes the lead in raising tariffs and triggers another set of counter-measures, it will eventually lead to a 6 percent decrease in global trade and a 10 percent increase in costs, OECD predicted. Furthermore, if tariffs increase to 40 percent and a serious trade war breaks out worldwide, the global economy will see another Great Depression, according to Brookings Institution. Economic globalization has been a gift to the development of the global economy, flows of goods and capital, advancements in science and technology and civilization, and increasing people-to-people exchanges. It is an objective requirement for the development of social productive forces, an inevitable result of science and technology progress, and an irresistible world trend.
“Blowing out people’s lights will come back and burn you.” US trade bullying has seriously damaged trade liberalization and facilitation, which threatens the world and the US itself. International trade is based on mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. Coercive trade tactics, intimidation, and cunning plans all distort the spirit of free trade, which violate market laws and lead to resource mismatches. US trade hegemonism is seriously jeopardizing the global industrial chain and supply-chain security and causing global market turmoil. Moreover, more innocent multinational corporations and consumers around the world will be impacted. Among the $34 billion in tariffs imposed on Chinese goods, nearly $20 billion of the goods are produced by foreign companies in China, and US companies account for a considerable proportion. Indeed, the US government’s tariffs is actually raising taxes on US consumers and businesses, which will affect employment and threaten the overall economic recovery, according to a recent report released by the US Chamber of Commerce.
The US should recognize the reality that trade protectionism will not scare or slowdown China. The industrious, intelligent, and brave Chinese people are never afraid of any external pressure. The Chinese people have successfully turned pressure into motivation. The White House should be aware of China’s determination in development, which has not changed—even in hard times. Nowadays, with strong development and broad appeal, China will not make unprincipled concessions to US trade hegemonism, as it damages the core interests of the country and its people. Moreover, as a responsible country, China will defend the international trade order. China clearly understands that winning this trade war will make the US realize that trade bullying has no way out. Reasonless people cannot find the basic sense of reality without suffering a bit.
China’s promotion of reform and opening-up is based on its own development interests, and will not be subject to the will of others. No matter how the external environment changes, China will follow its people-centered development philosophy to deepen reform and openness, and work with other countries to maintain a stable and predictable global economic and trade environment.