Ill will of some American politicians harm world economy
As the Sino-U.S. trade talks stagnate, Chinese scholars said the solution lies in the cure of the ill will of some American politicians.
Washington’s reckless moves on international orders are disrupting global value chains and damaging the multilateral trade system, and only openness and the courage to self-reflect can pull back the United States from the verge of making strategic miscalculations on its economic and trade ties with China, scholars said at a seminar held in Tsinghua University Thursday.
“Amnesia is spreading among some American politicians,” said Li Daokui, director of the Academic Center for China’s Economic Practice and Thinking of Tsinghua University.
In the 1930s, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act raised U.S. import tariffs drastically, adding considerable disruption to the global trade system and deepening the Great Depression.
“Now some American politicians willfully choose to forget the pain of tariff hikes and are trying to jeopardize Sino-U.S. trade relations,” said Li. He warned that the global value chain will get hurt, and the consequences can be more severe than those caused by the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.
Putting all the blame on others is another sign of American ill will, said the scholars.
While benefiting from the multilateral trade system, the U.S. administration failed to resolve the domestic conflicts of imbalanced distribution of income, said Bai Chongen, dean of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University.
“The U.S. administration then shipped those responsibilities offshore to ease domestic pressure,” he noted.
As long as the illness remains untreated, the innocent will suffer, the scholars said.
“Considering the capricious and extreme measures Washington took on China, any other country could be the next victim,” warned Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies.
“The worst result would be a broken global value chain with more terrible influence on the world economy than that caused by the 2008 financial crisis,” said Ju Jiandong, director of the Centre for International Finance and Economics Research of Tsinghua University.
As some U.S. policymakers turned blind eyes to domestic problems and stubbornly escalated trade frictions at the cost of slowing down the world economy, China was forced to fight, not just for itself but also the good of the U.S. and the world at large.
A resolute supporter of multilateralism, China has been pushing ahead with its opening-up policies and facilitating trade connectivity to offset the impact from growing protectionism, the scholars said.
Wu Xiaoqiu, vice president of Renmin University of China, said the U.S. should not underestimate the resilience of the Chinese economy as China has the most complete industrial chain in the world, a large market and solid economic structure.
“While the United States is trying to politicize the trade relations under the philosophy of a zero-sum game and unilateralism, a self-supporting, open and cooperative mindset will bring China a promising future,” said Chen Qi of Tsinghua University.