Op-ed: Best choice for US is to withdraw trade war

By Zhong Sheng -The US pushed the button to start a trade war against China in an arrogant and peremptory way, while China will by no means surrender to such irrational and arbitrary move.

The country on Wednesday unveiled a list of products worth $50 billion imported from the US that will be subject to higher tariffs, including soybeans, automobiles, aircraft and chemical products.

The decision, made by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, involved a possible additional tariff of 25 percent on 106 items of products under 14 categories.

It was a counter-measure taken after the US administration announced a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covers Chinese exports worth $50 billion.

The arrogant Uncle Sam obviously has underestimated the negative impacts to be placed on itself by the trade war, and now is the time for it to learn from reality.

The protectionism show put on by the US has drawn it worldwide resistance. With the announcement of the proposed tariff list of Chinese goods based on the so-called Section 301 investigation, the US is telling the world that it is betraying its own promises, and trampling on the international trade rules.
When approving the Marrakesh Agreement in 1994, the then US President, in a commitment to the congress, promised not to use Section 301 investigation to judge whether a foreign country violates WTO rules.

The country once again pledged in 1998 to settle trade disputes based on WTO procedures after the EU filed a complaint to the WTO over the Section 301 investigation.

Years later, the US slapped in the face of itself by threatening China with unilateral trade sanctions without any approval from the global trade body.

The US has never stopped discrediting China by blaming it and other trade partners for its own troubles like trade deficits and rising unemployment. What is more inexplicable is that the world’s largest economy always labels itself as a “victim” of international cooperation.

But it is well-known that the true intention behind its delusional disorder is to maximize its own interests by finding excuses for unilateral sanctions.

In order to hide its motives, it created some groundless excuses for its provocation. Such unreasonable move to blame others for its internal affairs indicated that the US has gone further along the wrong track.
For instance, it declared that the rise of Chinese manufacturing has hurt the interests of the US, but facts proved that such accusation cannot hold water at all.

The manufacturing jobs in the US have been shrinking for consecutive 65 years. The segment contributed 8.5 percent to all jobs in the US in 2017, falling from 32 percent in 1953. The figure had already dropped to 12 percent when China joined WTO in 2001.

The variation of manufacturing jobs is resulted from the huge influence of technology reforms and the increasing globalization of the supply chain, pointed out senior research fellow Stephen Roach at Yale University, adding that the US should rather find a cure to its own economic imbalance and decreasing vitality than to put the blame on the others.

In addition, it is ridiculous persecutory delusion that the Uncle Sam attributed China’s technology innovation to “forced technology transfer”. Foreign investment in China is totally market-based voluntary activities, and China has no such laws that require foreign companies to transfer their technologies to Chinese partners.

China is unswervingly implementing an innovation-driven development strategy. Its “Made in China 2025” strategy, a plan to upgrade the manufacturing sector, will help transform the country from a manufacturing giant into a manufacturing powerhouse.

But its improvement in innovation and manufacturing capabilities is not aimed to beat or replace the US, but to create better lives for its own people and bring more benefits for the world.

The US is trying to curb the progress of China’s high-tech industries by creating more trade barriers, but such ill-disposed approach is doomed to fail, while making itself miss shots in economic and scientific progresses.

Industrial giants such as General Electric and Goldman Sachs, as well as some agricultural enterprises have expressed their concerns that the US may lose the golden chance to be involved in the most profitable and fastest-growing market given the additional tariffs and investment restrictions.

US technology and investment industries agreed that the US government hopes to help them out, but what it does might lead to irreversible damage to their supply chain established after decades of efforts.

The US has to understand that no country could be scapegoat of its economic headache. If the US bends on waging a trade war at the cost of loss to both sides, China has the capability and determination to fight to the end.

China also has the sincerity if the US wants to sit down for a talk, but everything must be based on equal consultation and mutual respect.

China will never surrender to the irrationality of the US in the trade war, and the only way for the US to reduce loss is to slam on the brakes.from People’s Daily


Mareeg senior news editor since 2001 and he can be reached at news@mareeg.com