US tariffs to weaken rule-based multilateral trading system: scholars

The US administration’s tactics of levying higher tariffs on Chinese goods cannot solve its trade conflicts with China, nor will it improve the competitiveness of American companies, said Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

By Hu Zexi, Wu Lejun from People’s Daily

The US government’s successive rounds of higher and higher tariffs on Chinese goods make no contribution to the settlement of trade conflicts between the two largest economies, and will undermine the rule-based multilateral trading system, said Chinese and US think tank scholars.

The dialogue and consultations are the viable way out for the China-US trade frictions, they added when discussing on the future of China-US economic and trade relations and the ways to ease their current trade tensions in Washington DC and Chicago from Monday to Wednesday.

China and the US should stick to cooperation and move forward to healthy competition in developing their economic and trade relationship, said the Chinese scholars.

The trade war, not a form of healthy competition, goes against the fundamental interests of people from both countries, said the Chinese delegates, adding that the US won’t achieve what it wants in the trade war.

Responding to the recent voice that the US and China can detach their economy from each other, the Chinese scholars stressed that this move deviates from the direction of historic progress.

It will distort global resource allocation and greatly damage the interests of enterprises of the two countries, interests of the two peoples and even that of people all over the world, they pointed out.

Scholars from the US believe that the two countries, who have an enormous impact on global economy, should replace trade disputes with cooperation in addressing challenges.

They advised both sides to improve global economic governance system by jointly taking the leading role in promoting reforms on such major international organizations as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Chinese government’s attitude toward the trade war unilaterally launched by the US has always been clear and firm, the Chinese scholars emphasized when talking about Washington’s new tariff decision on commodities imported from China.

China will continue to deepen reform and opening up at its own pace, and maintain healthy and stable economic development, they noted, adding that the country will finally build a mature socialist market economy that opens in an all-round manner and make greater contributions to the development, stability, peace and prosperity of the world.

The US-China relationship is the world’s most important bilateral relations, said former US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who believes that the current tariff measures taken by the US administration will make the situation even worse, and some wording from the US lacks due respect for the counterpart as a major country.

Constructive dialogues remain the best option for both countries, he said, suggesting both sides narrow differences and look for consensus.

The US administration’s tactics of levying higher tariffs on Chinese goods cannot solve its trade conflicts with China, nor will it improve the competitiveness of American companies, said Adam Posen, President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Instead, such an act will weaken the purchasing power of low-income Americans, and hurt the global trading system in the long run. Chinese enterprises have the right to compete with US companies and to succeed in every field, including the high-tech sector, said Posen.

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