Commentary: U.S. trade bullying leads nowhere

Added On July 12, 2018

   The latest proposed tariffs from the Trump administration underlines its trade bullying and adds fuel to the retaliation spiral in the largest trade war in global economic archives.

   Days after tariffs on 34 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese goods went into effect, the Trump administration is readying tariffs on another 200 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese imports.
   For months, the Chinese government has patiently urged the U.S. administration to stop bullying its trade partners, stop trampling the multilateral trade system, and apply an open mind to achieve win-win.
   Rather than reversing its warmongering, the U.S. administration has doubled down on the unilateralism. There is no justification for such action, and for China, there is no better way than fighting back in defending its core national interests.
   History often seems to repeat itself.
   After U.S. President Herbert Hoover signed the tariff act in 1930, which raised tariffs on more than 20,000 imported goods, America's major trading partners punched back with retaliatory tariffs.
   Such a protectionist move helped slash U.S. exports by more than half, and historians believe helped exacerbate the Great Depression.
   As the American economy is now embracing a hard-earned recovery, it is important to enhance the resilience and competitiveness of the U.S. economy by cooperating with its trade partners. Protectionism and isolationism will only make things worse.
   The new tariff proposal amounts to another multi-billion-dollar tax on American businesses and families. China's retaliation equates to billions of new tariffs on U.S. exporters.
   Tariffs that beget tariffs that beget more tariffs only intensify the trade war that will cost American jobs and economic growth.
   According to the National Retail Federation, if the U.S. government fully implements its threatened tariffs, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) may decline by nearly 3 billion dollars and lead to the loss of 134,000 American jobs.
   Unilateral trade actions can be disruptive and may even prove counterproductive to the functioning of the global economic and trade system, said Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.
   China has never feared a trade war with the United States and has ample ammunition and alternatives to deal with the U.S. threats. China will soon file new complaints at the World Trade Organization to safeguard its legitimate interests.
   It is in the best interests of the Trump administration to work constructively with China and other trade partners to address trade and investment disputes.