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Rule for protectionism a double-edged sword

(People's Daily Online)

13:15, April 28, 2013

Edited and translated by Liang Jun, People's Daily Online

In serving telecom operators, Huawei eyes its future growth in markets of developed countries and regions, but not including the United States, according to the company.

Huawei's recent announcement sparked the speculation that the company will give up the U.S. market. As everyone knows, Huawei has not been allowed to enter the U.S. market for 12 years because of the rules for protectionism pursued by the U.S.

U.S.-led Western countries were the first to advocate globalization and liberation,with which they get into developing countries and reap huge profits.

Since the breakout of the global financial crisis, protectionism has been prevalent. Under the disguise of public interest, western countries insist on their domestic rules and trade protectionism to gain unfair competitive advantages for their own enterprises using national security, public health and environmental protection as excuses. It not only violates rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), but also harms the firms of other countries.

Western countries use unscrupulous tactics to implement rules for protectionism. They discriminate and suppress emerging markets. They politicize economic and trade issues and restrict other countries to enter their domestic markets using a variety of moves including tightening trade policies, amending tariff act, levying anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties and appealing to multilateral dispute mechanism.

Western countries often work together in pursuit of rules for protectionism against emerging economies, which seriously damages the interest of the developing countries.

From 2010 to 2012, the United States submitted to the WTO 520 technical barriers to trade and 432 notifications for measures on animal and plant quarantine. While in the same period, the WTO only received three cases against U.S. technical barriers to trade. Chinese enterprises have encountered more crackdowns and pressure.

Rule for protectionism is a double-edged sword. While expanding marginal profits, it will also bring negative effects to the West.

The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that the government will spend 1.4 billion U.S. dollars from 2011 to 2015 only for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Private sectors will cost more. The cost and the subsequent rising commodity prices will mostly be borne by domestic consumers.

In addition, rule for protectionism in fact is protecting the backwardness, which is not conductive for the Western countries to keep economic competitiveness.

Currently, the pace of economic globalization and regional integration is accelerating and the trend of win-win cooperation is more powerful; however, Western countries' pursuit of rules for protectionism is against the historical trend.

In the current situation of economic downturn and sluggish recovery, Western countries should abandon their narrow thinking and practices and cope with the various challenges with other countries together so as to achieve win-win situation and seek development through cooperation and jointly build a more prosperous and harmonious world.

Written by Mu Yongpeng, a special commentator of People's Daily and expert of international issues.

Read the Chinese version: 西方搞规则保护损人不利己

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