See More on Facebook

Opinion

Comment: Trade war won’t help Washington ‘make America great again’

Washington claims Beijing has launched six economic aggression policies that have undermined the US economy and national security.


Written by

Updated: September 12, 2018

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he’s ready to impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods on short notice, on top of the proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports his administration is putting the final touches on. In effect, Trump is threatening to turn the US-China trade conflict into a full-blown trade war.

For long, the US has accused China of economic aggression, with the report released by the White House in June elucidating that accusation in detail. The US’ political intention behind propagating a new “China threat” theory is clear: it wants to implement unilateral and protectionist policies and intensify the Sino-US trade friction with the aim of hurting China.

Washington claims Beijing has launched six economic aggression policies that have undermined the US economy and national security, and threaten the global economy and innovative system. These policies, according to the US, are aimed at protecting the domestic market, expanding China’s share in the global market, controlling core natural resources, dominating the traditional manufacturing industry, acquiring key technologies and intellectual property from other countries, and promoting emerging hi-tech industry. The US also accuses China of stealing intellectual property and developing emerging industry with the help of a “distorted” industrial policy.

Since launching reform and opening-up four decades ago, China has been part of the global division of labor and has facilitated the transfer of developed countries’ manufacturing units. But China cannot be expected to solely focus on low-end labor-intensive manufacturing while neglecting the development of high-end industries.

So it has used its rapid economic growth and technological progress to upgrade its industrial structure.

Is it economic aggression? And if it is, hasn’t the US been practicing the same policy for decades?

China has strengthened intellectual property rights (IPR) protection by enacting a sound IPR law and bolstering law enforcement. Last year, China paid the United States $7.13 billion as IPR royalties, which accounted for 25 percent of its total IPR royalty. China has taken these measures to better protect IPR and, equally importantly, become an innovation-driven economy.

The US also accuses China of collecting technological information and attracting talents. But those are normal activities for any country.

For the past four decades, China has been promoting market economy, strengthening IPR protection, and improving governance and laws, which have made it easier for Chinese as well as foreign enterprises, including US enterprises, to do business in the country.

Sino-US trade ties play a key role in overall Sino-US relations. Bilateral trade has increased from less than $2.5 billion in 1979 to $583.7 billion in 2017. Last year, the US exported $130.37 billion worth of goods to China, which accounted for 8.4 percent of its total exports. And since 2016, China has voluntarily reduced tariffs on thousands of taxable items, and cut the most-favored-nation annual tariff rate from 15.7 percent to 6.9 percent.

True, US investments have brought capital and advanced management concepts to and created jobs in China. But those investments have also yielded huge profits for the investors. For instance, US-owned enterprises’ sales in China exceeded $600 billion in 2016. And China’s direct investment in the US has exceeded $100 billion, contributing to local economic growth, employment and tax revenue.

Indeed, Sino-US economic relations face severe challenges. But it is unfair to attribute all the US’ economic problems to China.

As President Xi Jinping said, a good Sino-US relationship is beneficial to not only the two countries and their citizens, but also the entire world. And cooperation is the only and correct choice for China and the US.

Therefore, a trade war with China will not help Trump “make America great again”. Instead, it might cause huge losses to both sides.

The author is a researcher at the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Institute of the Ministry of Commerce.



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

Opinion

The foreigner who stoked political chaos in Malaysia

For Asia News Network Editor’s Circle by Chong Lip Teck of Sin Chew Daily. Controversial Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik is on the wanted list in India due to his extreme religious remarks and alleged involvement in money laundering. Many Muslim countries have denied him entry. But in Malaysia, he is well received by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government. Within the coalition, however, there is a split because of him. The ground sentiment is also divided into two, on  racial and religious lines. One side has defended him while the other side asked for his repatriation. As a Muslim preacher, Zakir Naik is popular in the Muslim community. He has his charm. While promoting Islam, he would  downgrade other religions, especially the Hindus and Christians. But, as a guest in Malaysia, he has crossed the red line. If he is merely promoting Islam, no one is against him. But he insults other religions in his sp


By ANN Members
September 16, 2019

Opinion

Is Twitter aiding India’s quest to silence Kashmiris?

The prospect of internet censorship looms. The spectre of an internet clampdown has once again reared its ugly head. This time though, the perceived cause is the social media companies — the digital gatekeepers who rally behind the idea of free expression for all. In the past few weeks, several users have complained that their accounts or tweets were suspended or withheld for posting about events in India-held Kashmir. The Pakistan government specified about 200 accounts that were suspended to Twitter, accusing the platform of aiding India’s quest to silence Kashmiris and their supporters. Among the many people whose accounts have been reported recently, President Arif Alvi also received a notice from Twitter alerting him on a complaint it received requesting for removal of his tweet on Kashmir. Although Twitter did not find the tweet to be in violation of its rules and took no action, its content m


By Dawn
September 2, 2019

Opinion

Modi’s next move

Moeed Yusuf, the author of Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments: US Crisis Management in South Asia, writes for Dawn newspaper.  For most in Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move of revoking held Kashmir’s special status in the Indian constitution came as a shock — even if his government’s manifesto categorically stated his intent to do so. Shocking? Hardly. In fact, the move has laid to rest any pretence that Modi recognises the need to be a centrist prime minister and that his pandering to his right-wing RSS support base is only a way to keep them in good humour. Everything about his government’s demeanour over the past couple of weeks confirms the deep ideological conviction that underpins his actions. Sadly, the popular rebuttal that India’s democracy is robust enough to keep the minorities from being jett


By Dawn
August 21, 2019

Opinion

Editorial: Draconian measures in Jammu & Kashmir

India must treat Kashmiris like its own citizens the way it claims and not alienate them any longer. On August 5, the world’s largest secular democracy decided to unilaterally dissolve the autonomy of its only Muslim-majority state and replace it with direct rule by the federal government. Eight days since, the goings-on in what was once Jammu and Kashmir, home to 12.5 million, remain opaque. The region is under curfew, with all communication and media cut and security forces on the streets enforcing a tight clampdown. Even as international media cover Indian-administered Kashmir to shed more light on the situation, India insist


By The Kathmandu Post
August 15, 2019

Opinion

When Jakarta is hit by inconvenience: The capital’s grand blackout

Indonesians are waking up to far-flung grievances. The Sunday blackout on Aug. 4 in Greater Jakarta and parts of West Java was said to be the worst in many years. Family and friends’ gatherings were still cheerful but hot as houses lost their air-cons; the new pride of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and that of Jakartans, the MRT, seemed to blush in shame as the power back up, it turned out, was for the stations and not ready yet for the MRT itself – from which passengers had to be evacuated. Gone was all the talk of the digital revolution and the cashless world as people suddenly found they had to rummage for cash for transactions. We’re still waiting for results of an investigation into what happened following the president’s stone-faced response; so speculations range from inadequate back up, slow contingency measures to allegations of sabotage and even whether a single big tree g


By Asia News Network
August 12, 2019

Opinion

Spy on thy neighbours

Nepal’s geostrategic position makes it the perfect place for clandestine diplomatic consultations. Located at the crossroads of Eastern and Western Europe, Vienna is still considered to be the spy capital of the world. Hong Kong has maintained its reputation of being the spy hub of East Asia. Dubai is an ideal place for investment, exchange and operations of all kinds between Central Asia, South Asia and Northern Africa. Singapore is an ideally situated city-state to partner with the


By The Kathmandu Post
August 8, 2019