Trade friction 'jeopardizes' global market

June 3, 2019


Beijing clarifies position on economic ties with Washington in white paper


Economic and trade friction provoked by Washington has damaged the interests of both China and the United States and has jeopardized the world economy, a Chinese government white paper said.


The U.S. government's hefty tariffs on Chinese goods has impeded two-way trade and investment cooperation between the two countries and undermined global market confidence and economic stability, the paper said.


The white paper, titled "China's Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations", was released by the State Council Information Office on Sunday. The paper was released as the ratcheting-up of bilateral tariffs between China and the U.S. has had a serious ripple effect through the global economy.


"It is foreseeable that the latest U.S. tariff hikes on China, far from resolving issues, will only make things worse for all sides," the paper said.


Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said China and the U.S. will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. "Our bilateral trade and economic relations are critical to the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and the prosperity and stability of the global economy," he said at a news conference on Sunday.


Wang said the two sides should adopt a rational and cooperative attitude and bridge their differences through dialogue and consultation to ensure that their economic and trade ties stay on the right track.


The white paper, citing data from the General Administration of Customs, said the U.S. tariff measures have led to a decrease in the volume of China's exports to the U.S., which fell by 9.7 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2019.


U.S. exports to China have dropped for eight consecutive months, as China had to impose tariffs as a countermeasure to the U.S. moves, the paper said.


Moreover, the uncertainty brought by U.S.-China economic and trade friction has made companies in both countries more hesitant about investing, the paper said.


The paper said the trade war failed to "make America great again", a campaign slogan popularized by the election campaign of U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016. The tariffs have significantly increased U.S. companies' production costs and led to domestic price hikes in the U.S., it said.


According to U.S. National Retail Federation research, the 25 percent additional tariffs on furniture alone will cost U.S. consumers an additional $4.6 billion per year.


Wang Chunzheng, former deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the U.S. government's trade-bullying mindset and behavior have had a negative effect on global investment and trade, and weakened the global economic growth.