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China warns US of ‘painful’ outcomes of trade war

11 March 2017 20:12

 

China has warned the administration of US President Donald Trump of the ramifications of waging a trade war, saying both countries will suffer if Washington continues its threats against Beijing.

“A trade war is not in the interest of the two countries and the two peoples,” China’s Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan told reporters in Beijing on Saturday.

“It is fair to say trade war will only cause pain without gains,” he added.

The Chinese minister noted that US exports to China had increased by an average of about 11 percent per annum over the last decade, while Chinese exports had only increased by 6.6 percent over the same period.

China has been a major importer of American goods, including soybeans, cars and Boeing airplanes, he said, adding, “This clearly shows that China and America are very important to each other.”

This was China’s second warning against a possible trade war this week amid growing indications that Washington is determined to pursue a protectionist agenda.

Last week, the United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for developing and recommending trade policy to the president, sent a letter to Congress, saying that Americans were not directly subject to rulings by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In reaction, China’s Commerce Ministry warned that attempts to ignore the WTO’s rules could lead to “a repetition of the trade war of the 1930s.”

Trump has accused China of resorting to unfair trade policies to steal American job opportunities, threatening to retaliate with massive tariffs if Beijing maintains the status quo.

On Thursday, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said trade conflict with China and other countries had already been on for decades, but stressed that Washington intended to fight back now.

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