China Center for International Economic Exchanges

Wei Jianguo: The first shot in the trade war fired by the US leads to its own isolation
Date:Jul 08,2018    Source:CCIEE

On July 6, the United States began to impose a 25% tariff on US$34 billion Chinese products. In response, China launched the retaliatory tariffs on some of the goods imported from the United States, which came into effect at 12:01(Beijing time) on the same day.

At an exclusive interview with the NetEase Finance, We Jianguo, Vice Chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and former Vice Minister of Commerce, emphasized that the US has lost its reputation and isolated itself from the rest of the world after firing the first shot in the trade war. Obviously, China has enough strength and effective measures to fight back the United States.

Trump will eventually hurt himself

On June 15, the White House issued a statement on the China-US trade, imposing a 25% tariff on 1102 products with a total value of $50 billion. The Office of the US Trade Representative said that there will be two lists of tariffs. The first list covers $34 billion imports from China and comes into effect at 12 o’clock on July 6. The second list of $16 billion goods will be assessed by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Wei Jianguo said after the three rounds of negotiations between the US and China, the US did not keep its promise, overturned the agreements and fired the first shot in the trade war. China was forced to take retaliatory measures in the last minute.

 “The US has not only lost its reputation but also the world. This first shot in the trade war fired by the US indicates that the US has gone backward from free trade to trade protectionism, unilateralism and anti-globalization,” said Wei Jianguo.

Trump launched the trade war by imposing a 25% tariff on $34 billion Chinese products but this will produce more damage to Trump himself and the US multinational corporations in China.

Most of the $34 billion goods that are subject to tariffs are manufactured and assembled in China for re-export purpose, most of the companies involved are American companies.

Wei Jianguo said that the added tariffs imply that the American consumers will have to pay for the costs of Trump’s trade war, which will cause significant dissatisfaction among American consumers and US importers as they all want to have the cheapest and most competitive Chinese products.

China has the strength to fight back the United States to the end

According to the Xinhua News Agency, China’s General Administration of Customs announced that China’s retaliatory tariffs will come into force at 12:01(Beijing time) on July 6. China has the strength and effective measures to fight back the United States.

In Wei Jianguo’s view, China totally understood the purpose of the trade war launched by the United States, which is to undermine China’s strategy of Made in China 2025, and hinder China’s high-tech development and rejuvenation.

China has a huge global market and many friends. It has been the largest exporter and the second largest importer for many years, more importantly, it has all kinds of friends in the international community.

China has a domestic market with tremendous potential and a large population. At present, the overall consumption has reached 5.2 trillion US dollars, which is close to the 5.6 trillion of the US market. “So we have to cultivate our domestic market well and do not have to rely on the US market as we did before,” said Wei Jianguo.

In addition, there is a huge global market for China to explore. Wei Jianguo stressed that it is necessary to adopt a market diversification policy and explore the market potential of Africa, Latin America and Central Asia, especially those countries that are suffered from the current trade war, such as the 28 EU countries, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, India, Mexico and Russia. As long as there is a market for Chinese goods, we will be able to sell them.

Finally, Wei Jianguo stressed that we must continue to hold high the greater banner of global free trade, trade liberalization and trade facilitation, and promote China’s high-quality economic development with a high level of openness.

Wei Jianguo said that China’s economic development will soon surpass the United States in the near future. China will implement more opening up initiatives, build the world’s best business environment, be the best protector of intellectual property rights, welcome investment made by international companies, and improve government efficiency and service sectors. “We will further open the industries of finance, services, banking, insurance, healthcare, medicines, new technologies and new materials, the United States will regret that it has started the trade war,” said Wei Jianguo at the end of the interview.


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