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Utter isolation: U.S.-initiated trade war slammed worldwide

(People's Daily Online)    17:04, July 18, 2018

Launching the largest trade war in economic history by imposing new tariffs on China, the U.S. has drawn a barrage of criticism from media outlets and cyber communities worldwide, with many accusing the U.S. of “trade bullying” that may drag global economy into “abysmal jeopardy”.

The tariffs, which were launched under Section 301, aim to “punish” what Trump has called China’s “theft” of intellectual property and unequal industrial policies, though ironically, around 59 percent of products (worth $34 billion) subject to the additional tariffs are made by foreign firms in China, with American firms making up a considerable part.

In response to the rising tension between the world’s largest economic engines, People’s Daily released a commentary on Monday, calling the tariffs “typical unilateralism, protectionism and trade bullying.” Even western media outlets that had previously endorsed America’s attempts to balance its trade deficit with China have since denounced the former’s reckless move, with CBS News noting that there are no easy off-ramps to the trade war, while the BBC warned that the rising tension “could hurt us all.”

“Trade war will benefit no one. Ordinary Americans will also suffer from such a reckless decision, while the Trump administration will feel the backlash months later,” said Paul Chan Poh Hoi, a People’s Daily reader.

“U.S.-China trade is coming as the U.S. is trying to maintain its monopoly position, as well as its hegemony that aims to [prioritize only] the national interest of America,” added Michel McGill, a U.S.-based Quora user.

Trade bully

Despite criticism from both global leaders and financial institutions, Trump reiterated last week that though America is now in a “nasty trade battle with China, things would ultimately work out.” But his optimism received a cold response from many U.S. members of the public and media outlets, with CNN depicting the last trade war as “not working out so great.”

“The world economy relies on international trade and Trump has decided to attack it. Do we honestly believe the U.S. market could keep going up forever in the face of mounting pressure?” Adam Alton, a U.S. netizen commented on Facebook.

Echoing Alton, Serafina Calise, another U.S. netizen, noted that the U.S. has started a war “it will not win.”

The Chinese government has also slammed the U.S.-initiated trade war, with its Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen calling the U.S. a trade bully.

“America’s initiation of a trade war was led by its protectionist and nationalist policies. When it comes to its own interests, the U.S. bullies everyone, including bodies like the WTO and UN. That’s so hypercritical,” said Harishwr K, a German-based Quora user.

Global turbulence

In addition to China, the U.S. has also launched trade wars targeting other nations, with many WTO members taking countermeasures against it, as well as requesting consultations with the States under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

Delivering sharp rebukes against U.S. unilateral protectionism, Sputnik, Russia’s major news portal, has warned that U.S.-China trade skirmishes could end in a global trade war. Sharing the same opinion, The Guardian noted that Trump’s trade war will soon have fallout, but as with Brexit, the economic effects of uncertainty over tariffs will take time to appear.

According to DBS’s chief economist Taimur Baig, such a trade war could shave 0.25 percent off the GDP of both China and the U.S. this year. However, considering Chinese GDP grows at 6-7 percent while that of the U.S. only grows at 2-3 percent, the damage would be greater to the U.S. than to China.

The International Monetary Fund has also warned that the trade war could cost the global economy $430 billion, affecting many countries, but America will be especially vulnerable to an escalating tariff war.

“Both the U.S. and China economy are fully integrated into the world economy; any trade war between the U.S. and China will negatively impact the entire world,” said Glenn Lee, a netizen from Northern California.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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