See More on Facebook

Economics, Opinion

US should uphold consensus on reducing trade gap with China

White house statement announcing plans to implement tariffs on China’s exports goes against agreement reached in Washington less than two weeks ago.


Written by

Updated: May 31, 2018

Despite the truce in the trade hostilities between the United States and China that was agreed less than two weeks ago after their talks in Washington, the White House on Tuesday announced it is ready to pull the trigger on tariffs and other measures to protect US technology and intellectual property from what it called China’s “discriminatory” trade practices.

Although China responded that this was within its expectations, it has understandably been irked by the US reneging on the Washington agreement. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday the US was eating its words and squandering its credibility in international relations.

That the trade spat has flared up again after the Washington meeting seemed to have taken the heat out of it, has sparked fresh concerns about the impact it could have on the global economy and value chains.

On Wednesday, the OECD added its cautionary note alongside those previously issued by the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund.

China on its part is genuinely trying to defuse tensions and reach a settlement. It reiterated on Wednesday that it does not want to fight, although it will stand up for itself if forced to. It hopes to reach an agreement through constructive dialogue.

But although the latest move by the US might be an attempt to leverage some concessions from China during US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ upcoming talks in Beijing, China should be prepared for more arbitrary and wayward actions by the US, since the Donald Trump administration seems to be intent on targeting China’s ability to compete with it in the high-tech arena.

According to reports, the US State Department is now going to cut the length of the visas issued to Chinese science and technology students from June 11, particularly those studying robotics, aviation and high-tech manufacturing, sectors China identified as priorities in its Made in China 2025 plan aimed at moving its manufacturing up the value chain.

Despite higher education being an area where the US actually runs a surplus with China – Chinese students account for about one-third of the 1 million foreign students enrolled at US schools – Washington seems willing to cut off its nose to spite its face, concerned that they will somehow gain access to secrets that will give China a helping hand in knocking the US off its high-tech pedestal.

This shows how hard it will be for China to satisfy the US’ demands without doing itself harm. However, it should continue to do what it can to convince the US that confidence should not become recklessness and a trade-off is in the interests of everyone.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


China Daily
About the Author: China Daily covers domestic and world news through nine print editions and digital media worldwide.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Economics, Opinion

More changes friendly to foreign investors on way in China

China is courting more FDI as their cash reserves run lower. China will roll out more measures friendly to foreign investors, including further removing business restrictions and leveling the playing field for foreign businesses, to foster a more enabling business environment and attract overseas investment. The decision was made on Wednesday at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Meeting participants decided to open up more areas. Restrictive measures outside the national and FTZ negative lists on foreign investors’ market access will be consolidated. Restrictions will be lifted on the business scope for those foreign-invested banks, securities companies and fund management firms that are already operating in China. Policies on foreign investment in the automobile industry will be refined, including giving equal treatment in market access to domestic and foreig


By China Daily
October 18, 2019

Economics, Opinion

Malaysia’s PM Mahathir says rail line RTS linking Johor Baru to Singapore to proceed

The rail line has been on again and off again. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Oct 17) said Malaysia will proceed with the 4km Johor Baru to Singapore rail line. His comments about the Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail link followed that of Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday that details of the project will be decided by the Malaysian Cabinet within two weeks. Tun Dr Mahathir said when asked by reporters on Thursday: “We will proceed with the RTS but we will take some time.” Asked if this meant the Malaysian government had resolved 


By The Straits Times
October 18, 2019

Economics, Opinion

BOK slashes key rate to record-low 1.25%

The government hopes to stimulate a stagnating economy. South Korea’s central bank on Wednesday cut the country’s key interest rate to 1.25 percent, reflecting the sluggish economic growth, low inflation and declining exports. Its second rate cut in three months — to the lowest ever level — is in line with the global trend toward monetary easing. “We have cut the base rate considering the lower-than-expected growth outlook and low inflation,” said Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol in a press conference.The BOK’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Board decided to lower the base rate by 25 basis points from 1.5 percent that it had set three months ago. The move paralleled the US Fed Reserve’s decision last month to lower its key interest rate to the 1.75-2 percent range, down 25 basis points from the previous 2-2.25 percent range. The BOK board cited contractions in trade, sl


By The Korea Herald
October 17, 2019

Economics, Opinion

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam unveils measures to ease housing crunch

Lam was forced to deliver speech via video after protests. Embattled Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced measures aimed at easing a housing shortage on Wednesday (Oct 16) as she battles to restore confidence in her administration and address widespread discontent after four months of mostly violent anti-government protests. Mrs Lam was forced to deliver her speech via video after her annual policy address in the Legislative Council was aborted when some lawmakers repeatedly jeered and shouted at her as she began speaking. After aborting her speech in the chamber tw


By The Straits Times
October 17, 2019

Economics, Opinion

Thai labourers face uncertainty over cost of production

The trade war has not left Thailand unaffected. The slowdown in global economy has dampened growth of the support industries in Thailand in its role as a part-producer for foreign investors, with all finished items shipped out to target countries or the parent companies. When investing companies add value to their products and sold at higher prices, Thai producers receive less profits, resulting in low wages for labourers. Production of industrial parts could be easily relocated to other countires, said Chalee Loysong, president of the Confederation of Electronic, Electrical Appliances, Auto and Metal Workers (TEAM). A clear sign of the move emerged when companies started to reduce costs through cutting down on the numbers of both full-time workers and those engaged in outsourced work, he said, adding that the latter are especially prompt to being discarded, given the absen


By The Nation (Thailand)
October 16, 2019

Economics, Opinion

Bengali Nobel laureate Abhijit at a glance

Abhijit Banerjee shared the Nobel Prize for economics. Indian-born Abhijit Banerjee of the US, French-American Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer of the US today won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize for their work in fighting global poverty. Here is the brief profile of Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee: Fifty-eight-year-old Abhijit was born in Kolkata of India in 1961. His mother Nirmala Banerjee was a professor of economics at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata. Abhijit’s father Dipak Banerjee was a professor and the head of the Department of Economics at Presidency College in Kolkata. He went to South Point School and completed his BS degree in economics from Presidency College in Kolkata in 1981.


By Daily Star
October 15, 2019