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The facts and China's position on China-US trade friction

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-26 08:00
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V. Damage of the improper practices of the US administration to global economy

The US government has taken extreme trade protectionist measures, which have undermined the international economic order, caused damage to China-US trade and trade relations around the world, disrupted the global value chain and the international division of labor, upset market expectations, and led to violent swings in the international financial and commodity markets. It has become the greatest source of uncertainty and risk for the recovery of the global economy.

1. Such measures undermine the multilateral trade rules and the international economic order

In the advance toward civilization, humanity has widely accepted an international governance system based on rules and credibility. Countries, big or small, strong or weak, should respect each other, engage in equal-footed dialogue and jointly safeguard international rules in the spirit of contract. This is fundamental to promoting global trade and investment and boosting global growth. However, the recent steps taken by the US administration that are contrary and even destructive to the existing multilateral trade rules seriously undermine the current international economic order. The US administration has issued open criticisms of the rules and operation mechanism of the WTO on various occasions. It has refused to endorse the multilateral trading system, and at the same time has adopted a negative attitude toward global economic governance, which caused the failure of the APEC Trade Ministers Meetings, in both 2017 and 2018, to reach consensus on supporting the multilateral trading system. In particular, the US administration's objection to writing "opposition to trade protectionism" into the ministers' statement was met with opposition from every other APEC member. The US lashed out at the WTO appellate body and repeatedly blocked the appointment procedures of the body, resulting in an understaffed appellate body and pushing the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism to the brink of paralysis.

2. Such measures obstruct world trade and the recovery of the global economy

As globalization moves forward, the economies of the world are increasingly connected through trade. Trade has become a major engine for global growth. According to the World Bank, the international economy's dependence on trade rose from 17.5 percent in 1960 to 51.9 percent in 2017(Chart 13).

The global economy has just emerged from the shadow of the 2008 global financial crisis and the recovery is yet to be solidly-based. In this context, the US administration's actions to instigate large-scale trade frictions and impede the flow of world trade will undoubtedly affect the recovery of the global economy. In order to mitigate the protectionist moves of the US, countries are left with no choice but to take countermeasures. This will disrupt the world economic and trade order, and hold back global recovery, damaging the interests of companies and people of all countries and pushing the global economy back into recession (Table 6).

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