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Commentary: US tariffs must prepare to meet their doom

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-04-06 22:25

BEIJING - After proposing a tariff hike of 25 percent on Chinese products worth $50 billion, the US administration has repeated its folly.

Messages from the office of the US Trade Representative and US President Donald Trump both refer to additional tariffs on Chinese products, possibly worth as much as $100 billion.

In response to the first tariff proposal, China was forced to take countermeasures on Wednesday. On Friday, China quickly responded to the intention of addtitional tarrifs on more Chinese products.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China will immediately fight back fiercely without hesitation if a new list of additional tariffs is announced.

What exactly are the Trump administration's problems? Supposed intellectual property (IP) theft, allegedly illicit technology transfer and the tumescent trade deficit?

It's not hard to see that these allegations are fanciful, biased and swimming against the tide of world opinion.

China's development has come as a result of China's hard work, not "intellectual property theft."

IP protection is a top priority for China. In 2017, China paid $28.6 billion in royalties to foreign rights owners, up from $1.9 billion in 2001 when the country joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).

IP is a tool for cooperation, not an excuse for punitive, unilateral bluster.

Instead of reflecting on its own failed export policies, the United States blames China for its trade deficit. Absurd, since the Unites States is actually the beneficiary of trade with China.

As of 2016, Chinese companies had invested more than $20 billion in the midwest of the US alone, creating over 45,000 jobs there. In that year, Chinese companies invested a record $45 billion in the United States, tripling the amount that was poured into the US economy in 2015. Some may even call this "foreign aid."

China's trade policies are market-oriented, with private companies and joint ventures playing a key role. Growth of foreign trade is a natural result of free market competition, once the backbone of the mighty US economy.

Joint ventures benefit from China's trade policies, given a level of tariffs well below other emerging economies.

Despite Trump's bravado and bombast, China remains undaunted as it completely opens up its general manufacturing sector and expands access to many others.

Economic globalization is happening and will continue to happen, whether the United States likes it or not. Trade liberalization and an open economy are the right choice for China and for every other economy. The United States is more than welcome to plunge its head into the sand and pretend to know otherwise, but no one is convinced.

China hopes that common sense and long-term considerations will come to bear on Trump and his advisors.

China will fight "at any cost" and take "comprehensive countermeasures" if the United States continues along its unilateral, protectionist path, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.

China will resolutely continue to protect the WTO-rule based multilateral trading system.

US protectionism is doomed.

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