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US’ allying tactics on trade issue to meet with frustration

By Wen Yan, Chen Xin (Global Times)    09:09, July 26, 2018

“The US is now the biggest wrecking ball to world stability and certainty,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned against the US’ efforts to convince its allies to take on China more aggressively over trade issues on Friday, as experts also cautioned that the US’ plan will be met with frustration.

The US will seek to convince Japan and the EU to join it in a more aggressive stance against Chinese trade practices when financial leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meet in Buenos Aires this weekend in Buenos Aires, Reuters reported, but predicted that its hostile tariffs are set to leave US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in cold.

“As the No.1 power in today's world, the US should at least think about its responsibility before making relevant policies or saying or doing anything, because it is the ‘order’ of the world that they are expected to promote, not ‘chaos’.” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing.

“I said the other day that knowing someone is intelligence but knowing oneself is real wisdom. Today I want to add that nothing could be more disastrous than chaos,” she added.

The weekend event is also the first G20 financial meeting since China and the US exchanged tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s goods.

Mnuchin will hold separate bilateral meetings with officials from France, Canada, Germany and Mexico, among others, the South China Morning Post reported, adding that G7 officials on hand for the broader meeting would also hold an one-hour session during which they would again discuss “concrete action with regard to China and its economic aggression”.

The Reuters report is not optimistic about the US plan, holding that such efforts will be complicated by frustration over US steel and aluminum import tariffs on the EU and Canada who have responded with retaliatory tariffs.

The conclusion has been agreed by Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China Division, who said that "(US) hostile actions against long-standing trading partners and allies has weakened its economic and geopolitical influence."

“I have noted that many US citizens and its allies have spoken out unreservedly. The US is now the biggest wrecking ball to world stability and certainty. Its unilateralism and protectionism pose the greatest threat to the international rules and the world economic order,” Hua stressed at a briefing, responding to a ridiculous claim by a senior US official.

Peter Navarro, Director of the US National Trade Council, claimed previously that China is in a "zero-sum game" with the rest of the world when it comes to trade, and “what the US needs to do is to work with the rest of the world to deal with it.”

“The retail price for Apple's iPhone 7 starts at $649, but manufacturers in China only get less than 1% of the value. When China exports a $450 worth of business suit to the US, China gets 5% of the profit while the US gets 84%,” Hua refuted his words with facts.

“I am curious how the US side would like to explain these figures. Do they also want to cite these figures to prove that the US is shortchanged in its trade deals with China and China is playing the zero-sum game here with the US?” she asked.

“Everyone is watching when the US side behaves like this in international relations, and everyone is hearing and seeing what the US officials are saying and doing. So, we all know what the whole world thinks of the US,” the spokesperson pointed out.

The EU is ready for retaliation if US President Donald Trump puts tariffs on imported automobiles and auto parts, its trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom warned on Thursday at a press conference, stressing that the EU has no other choices but to react though it does not want an escalation of the conflicts.

The EU is preparing a new list of American goods to hit with protective measures if a mission to Washington next week fails to persuade Trump not to raise levies on car imports, Bloomberg reported, citing two officials with knowledge of the issue.

A New York Times comment said that the EU is getting closer to China and Japan to buttress a global system as Europe and other parts of the world have accepted that Trump and his mission of disruption are not going away, after months of denial, anger, bargaining and depression.

Financial Times, in a commentary, called on the whole world to “join battle in Trump's trade war Premium” as the best reaction against “America First” is to leave America behind.

Despite of the pouring blames, the Trump administration goes his own way under an “America First” policy. 

The US Congress is mulling the first major change in a decade to the rules governing foreign investment reviews, a Wall Street Journal report disclosed on Friday.

“Negotiators from the Senate and the House reached a deal on the final text of the provision to bolster both the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US and the US export-control system, in an effort to block Chinese and other foreign transactions that could harm national security,” disclosed Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn.

The bill was previously strongly resisted by some lawmakers and big companies out of their worries that the overseas investment will face excessive restrictions.

The US administration’s “America First” policy did not win it expected supports. US officials and public are up in arms about Trump's plans to impose import tariffs on cars and auto components, said a Deutsche Welle report on Friday.

In a hearing held on Thursday, many representatives protested against the tariffs, in a belief that it will result in rising prices of cars, more expensive imported parts as well as tariff retaliation from its allies, according to the report.

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson said he will send economic official to China out of concerns that the US tariff may hurt the economy of his state, while pointing out that retaliatory measures from Canada and Mexico worry him more.

The latest survey made by Pew Research Center revealed that more Americans see negative than positive impact for the US tariff against China, the EU and other trading partners.

Nearly half (49%) of surveyed take it as a bad thing for the US, about 40% polled regard it as a good thing, while the rest 11% don’t know how the tariffs will affect the country, the research showed. 

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

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