Officials Warn US-China Trade War Will Help No-one

International trade officials have met in China to discuss the impending tariffs the USA will impose on Chinese products.

This follows the April 3 announcement by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) identifying those Chinese products to be targeted with an additional duty of 25%. Many of the products targeted by the U.S. under this determination include technology, aircraft parts and robotic equipment and also printer cartridges.

According to China Daily, “A trade war between China and United States would disrupt global supply chains, entailing negative impacts beyond China-US commercial relations.” Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming warned it will have broader impacts that could affect Japan, South Korea and other Southeast Asian and Asia Pacific nations.

Speaking at the Boao Forum, Qian said China does not want to fight a trade war but is not afraid of one.

Fears of an escalating trade conflict between Beijing and Washington intensified after US President Donald Trump threatened tariff increases on an additional $100 billion of Chinese goods.

Qian called on countries to uphold the spirit of free trade and to address problems in the existing multilateral trading system through consultation and rational communication. He pointed out that global trade has been a scapegoat as some governments have wrongly blamed domestic problems such as unfair income distribution on free trade.

His warnings were echoed by other forum speakers meeting in Bo’ao, in China’s Hainan province.

According to China Daily, the former US secretary of commerce Carlos Gutierrez expressed concerns about the ongoing tit-for-tat threatening moves between China and the US.

“I see tactics … but there isn’t a strategy of what we want the world to look like in commerce and how we can get there,” Gutierrez said at a panel discussion.

“We have to start thinking about what will happen after the fight because there is not going to be a winner. The best way to win a trade war is to not have a trade war,” he said.

Also speaking at the Boao Forum were, from left, former US commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada, Commerce Vice-Minister Qian Keming and former New Zealand prime minister Jenny Shipley. [Photo by XU JINGXING/CHINA DAILY]

The Boao Forum is a non-profit organisation that hosts high-level forums for leaders from government, business and academia in Asia and other continents to share their vision on the most pressing issues in this dynamic region and the world at large. Its fixed address is in Bo’ao, Hainan province, China, although the Secretariat is based in Beijing.

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