US ‘hegemonic tariff’ will not make America great again

Photo: VCG

Sustaining hegemony is selfish in nature, especially when hegemony is in decline. The nature of the US wielding the tariff baton, sanctioning other countries’ officials and companies is a “hegemonic tariff.”

This can be defined by a series of its behaviors, including cracking down on Chinese tech giant Huawei and lobbying its allies to reject Huawei’s 5G technology without solid proof; blacklisting Chinese companies for their alleged connections with so-called human rights issues in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; declaring trade wars against the world; frequent military interventions in other countries’ domestic affairs, claiming human rights are superior to sovereignty, and overthrowing governments of other countries.

Take trade wars. China is not the only target of the US. Washington has not even cut its allies some slack. Since 2018, not only Venezuela, Cuba, Ukraine, Turkey have been hit by US sanctions. Quite a few of traditional US allies, including Canada, Japan and South Korea, have also been sanctioned by the hegemonic power. Washington’s goal is simple: To protect its domestic market and expand foreign markets to maximize global trade. This philosophy is also called “America First,” and the US believes it is able to seek more interests through hegemonic means.

While the US is busy charging its “hegemonic tariff,” it is putting the blame on China. The Atlantic published an article on Saturday entitled “The NBA-China Disaster Is a Stress Test for Capitalism,” claiming “Chinese companies, furious over [US] public sympathy for Hong Kong, were swift in their vengeance. They suspended licensing agreements with the NBA.” It then concluded that firms with business in China pay “values tariff.”

This is deliberately confusing right from wrong. It shows the US does not respect Chinese sovereignty, while even wishing to impose its own values and political views on the Middle Kingdom.

Hegemonic measures are no longer effective. Trade lasts only when based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. When US companies make money from around the world, they can achieve their goals smoothly only by complying with others’ laws and respecting their public opinion.

However, Washington is now becoming increasingly narrow-minded and selfish, regarding mutual benefit as US losses. Worse, it is asking the world to compensate for its losses, urging others to make contributions to “America First” through political, financial and military means.

The Atlantic article noted “the partnership between the NBA and China, which is worth billions of dollars over the next decade, is now in jeopardy.” This is exactly the consequence of the US obsessing over hegemony as well as the US obsessing with its so-called moral high ground.

China will not pay a penny for the US “hegemonic tariff,” and will take countermeasures to take back what the US has seized from it. The chances of the US profiting from its hegemony are dwindling.

The key to making America great again is to boost the country’s competitiveness and innovation, rather than slapping “hegemonic tariffs.”

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Trump is the biggest threat

Not much help: Despite his use of
tariffs to help skew the playing field in favour of US firms, the very
industries Trump has tried to help have become the weakest links in the
otherwise solid economy.

WASHINGTON: At rallies and whistle-stop campaign tours, President Donald Trump proclaims a renaissance in US factories rebuilding the nation with “American steel”, “American heart” and “American hands”.

But in reality, despite his relentless use of punitive tariffs to help skew the playing field in favour of US companies, the very industries he has tried to help have become the weakest links in the otherwise solid economy.

With just over a year to go before he faces re-election, Trump takes credit for the most vigorous economy in the industrialised world, with the expansion entering its 11th year and historically low unemployment.

But while services and office jobs dominate the US economy, Trump continues to promote the factory and mining jobs that were the lifeblood of the economy in the last century.

“American steel mills are roaring back to life,” he declared last month in Florida – the same day US Steel announced it would idle plants in Michigan and Indiana until “market conditions improve”.

And to West Virginians he said, “The coal industry is back.”

But in fact each of the sectors Trump has championed – coal mining, steel, aluminium and auto manufacturing – have been buffeted by a combination of market forces and changing technologies – factors beyond his control – or damaged by the very things he did to protect them, economists and analysts say.

Last month, a national survey of manufacturing activity hit its lowest level in nearly three years – narrowly avoiding slipping into contraction – while regional surveys have also seen record declines.

In March, the number of workers in US manufacturing shrank for the first time in nearly two years and it is now growing more slowly than the rest of the American workforce.

Trump has imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions in imports, renegotiated trade agreements and dangled the threat of worse over China and Europe and Mexico – all while publicly browbeating companies that close US factories or move production offshore.

But weak foreign demand, a strong US dollar and a decades-long evolution away from domestic manufacturing have progressively shrunk America’s industrial sector, said Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics.

Trump’s world trade war has not helped either.

“The policies that have been implemented in terms of protectionism have hurt the very sectors they were meant to protect. There’s no escaping that,” Daco said. – AFP/The Star

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The US is deploying a double standard by calling China’s proposed sanctions on US companies for arms sales to Taiwan a “foolish action,” Chinese mainland analysts said on Sunday, pointing out that the sanctions could not only cut base material supply to these companies including rare earths but also block their non-military products from entering Chinese markets.


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China takes moral high ground in face of US power play

The Sino-US trade dispute is not only a game between representatives of the two countries at the negotiating table, but also a contest between the two sides in the field of international public opinion. In this dispute, which may evolve into a protracted confrontation, China has no choice but to take international justice and law as the criterion. While striving to safeguard its own core interests, China is also committed to international morality.

Over the past year and more, the tactics used by China and the US in the trade war have drawn a sharp contrast, highlighting the new trend of the strategic game between emerging powers and already existing powers in the new era.

China is actively opening to the outside world to reduce trade restrictions, while the US frequently imposes tariffs on other countries. China never threatens other countries, but seeks common interests through negotiations. The US frequently resorts to a maximum pressure approach. China respects the international system and acts in accordance with the principles of justice. The US does not obey rules, and uses what is appropriate and discards what is not. China respects each other’s concerns about economic interests, while the US only considers its own interests. China has resolutely defended and safeguarded the basic principles of the WTO and put forward a reform plan. The US threatened to withdraw from the WTO to act according to its will. 

Welcome to America Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Uncle Sam, which prides itself on international justice, has arrogantly put “America First” above international justice and law. Closing the door for selfish gain, Washington is slipping from the moral high ground. China adheres to principles, is calm and rational, pursues fairness and justice, opens the door to common prosperity and cooperation, and presents itself as a responsible major country. 

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.” The use of unilateralism to force opponents to surrender has caused the biggest blow to the international free trade system since the end of the Cold War.

At this time, it has become the common responsibility of the international community to work together to consolidate and improve the existing international economic and trade system so that it is fairer and more reasonable and not hijacked by the US.

It appears that the US is decoupling with China, in fact, the US is decoupling with the world. As the largest developing country and the world’s No. 2 economy, China has the responsibility and wisdom to play a bigger role in promoting globalization.

The conflict between China and the US tests the level of political governance, the potential of economic development, the unity of the people and the global influence of the two sides. The future depends more on who can be a positive force for world peace and development.

China’s economic and trade links with the rest of the world have never been so extensive and deep as they are today. The further development of globalization and the progress of the world political and economic governance system need China’s contribution.

China is an emerging power. The rise of any big country in history will not be smooth. A great power that can truly stand firm on the world stage may start out lonely, but in the end, it becomes more and more cohesive. The trade war has put China through the test that a rising power must endure. It has strengthened our confidence to firmly occupy the international moral high ground.

China’s past success lies in its ability to accurately grasp the convergence between China’s “potential” and the world’s “potential.” China’s sustainable development in the future depends on how we take advantage of the trend of world development to develop ourselves, and use our own reform and opening-up to promote world development.

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US global economic terrorism

Global financial markets are facing a stark wake-up call that they need to unite to stand against acts of what can only be described as economic terrorism by a country which unilaterally imposes its will on others and pursues its own goals at the cost of the interests of others.

More than a year after US President Donald Trump fired the first tariff salvo at China, he is extending the battlefield around the world. On Friday, his administration announced that it will end special trade treatment for India, removing a status that exempts billions of dollars of the South Asian country’s products from US tariffs. Trump is seriously mulling slapping tariffs on Mexican imports as he believes the country has taken advantage of the US for decades.

Even close allies cannot trust they will be exempt from Trump’s tariff addiction. It was reported that the administration considered imposing tariffs on imports from Australia, but eventually decided against the move amid opposition from his aides, “at least temporarily.”

Obviously, Trump, a businessman-turned president, is aiming his trigger finger regardless of the targets, be they US competitors or allies. Trump grumbles about his country subsidizing the world and weakening US industry and pledges to make America great again. But he doesn’t realize that a great superpower is supposed to provide public goods rather than resorting to coercion for selfish gains. His tactics are nothing short of economic terrorism.

The International Air Transport Association has estimated that the US-China trade war and high fuel prices will wipe $7.5 billion off expected airline profits in 2019. This is just the figure from the airline industry, which is enough to show the disastrous impact the US-initiated economic terrorism has on the globe. Trump may disrupt the global supply chain with the US’ economic clout, but how can a disrupted global supply chain serve the US’ strategic objectives of being a great country?

What is worse, before the US becomes great again as the president wishes, he is actually employing the strategy of blocking other countries to take the lead, as we see in his actions in quashing Huawei’s 5G advancement.

Later this month, leaders from the world’s top economies will meet at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan to discuss key economic issues that plague the world. The conventional views of globalization and its benefits are still shared by most countries, and many countries and regions are continuing to open their economies. They should unite to face the chaos created by the Trump administration and find a way forward, so the process of globalization will not be held hostage by the US’ economic terrorism. – By Zhang Yi
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US and China: Are the superpowers heading for a collision, or can they be frenemies?

US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping at a working dinner in Buenos Aires in December. Mr Trump recently accused Beijing of backtracking on commitments for a proposed trade deal, which Beijing denies.


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Professor who predicted clash between great powers talks about the next challenges ahead, including forestalling conflicts and finding a way forward, perhaps through ‘rivalry partnership’.

 Prof Allison: The souring of bilateral ties caused by the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China risks creating the politics, perceptions and psychology that make a clash between the two countries harder to avoid. — China Daily/ANN

Prof Allison: The souring of bilateral ties caused by the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China risks creating the politics, perceptions and psychology that make a clash between the two countries harder to avoid. — China Daily/ANN

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Time to discard any illusions about the US

A letter written by He Tingbo, president of HiSilicon, a semiconductor company owned by Huawei, was made public on Friday. The letter is a touching one and has won public support. In the letter, He said that employees of the company embarked on the most stirring journey in technology history in recent years to make backup products for Huawei and now these products will finally be put to use.

US relies on deception and is most afraid of protracted trade war

The economic data of China and the US for the month of April was not good. There are divergent views on the reasons for China’s declining retail sales growth rate and especially, its industrial output growth. But amid China’s overall expectations that a trade war could have some impact on the economy this year, one month’s unsatisfactory data is socially and psychologically affordable.


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China won’t flinch in face of tough-talking US

The US will raise tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports effective Friday, according to a notice posted to the Federal Register.

The announcement was made at 8:45 pm on May 8 (Beijing time). At 11:23 pm, the Chinese Minister of Commerce said that China will have to take necessary countermeasures if the US goes ahead with its plan to increase tariffs on Chinese imports. Although China’s announcement was made in a calm and peaceful manner, it has shown the country’s unswerving resolution to defend its own interests.

Washington has lit the fuse on escalating China-US trade tensions. Beijing had announced it would send a delegation for the May 9 consultations before Washington’s May 8 announcement. At this critical time, Washington’s imprudent move is clearly an extreme means of sending an alarming message to China. Washington must have expected the Chinese delegation would rush to the US and seize every opportunity to reverse the situation. Instead, the Chinese delegation decided to fly to the US one day later than originally planned. This is the way Chinese express their will and determination.

The 11th round of China-US trade talks in Washington on May 9 looks like a “Banquet at Hongmen.” On the one hand, Washington is lighting a fuse on escalating trade tensions; and on the other they still want to continue negotiating with the Chinese delegation. By doing so, they have set a new precedent in the history of trade talks.

Many people may ask: Under such circumstances, why is Beijing still sending the delegation to Washington? In fact, it’s really Washington that should be answering the question: Under such circumstances, why is the Chinese delegation invited to Washington for more trade talks?

The answer is simple. Both China and the US want to finalize a trade deal. Obviously, there are some issues that are difficult to overcome for both sides. It seems that both are now mentally prepared for a transition from truce talks to the mode of “fighting and talking” at the same time.

It is a great pity that after meeting halfway on most of their differences, China and the US have not been able to reach consensus on the last few core issues. Those issues are not supposed to come up as they specifically reflect the unreasonable demands by the US. Their emergence is rooted in the misguided perception that the US is privileged by its strength. That misconception has also motivated the latest unexpected tariff rise announced by Washington.

China has turned down the US demands at the final stage of negotiation. It was not only encouraged by its strength, but also motivated by its belief in the principle of equality. China is not afraid of conflict with the US at the last moment. In the face of the “big stick” of the US tariff threats, China has once again demonstrated its confidence in coping with an escalated trade war.

Since neither side has given up on the idea of making a deal, and it is the ultimate goal of both countries, the latest round of China-US trade talks is expected to be conducted in a climate of uncertainty, including that of a looming escalated trade war. Such a scenario has rarely been seen in the history of trade talks.

Will the US hit the brakes on the trade war at the last minute? Chinese want to know the answer to that question, but Americans are more concerned. Washington has found itself caught in a dilemma between its ambition to gain the upper hand in trade over China and its desire to minimize any negative impacts on its stock market. Beijing is serious about both trade talks and trade wars. Now, it is fully ready to switch to the mode of “fighting and talking.”

China is well prepared for an escalation in trade tensions. A variety of plans are in place, such as countermeasures for any tariff rise, and favorable policies to minimize losses for Chinese enterprises. Mentally and materially, China is much better prepared than its US counterpart.

In the face of the imminent, unique “Banquet at Hongmen,” Chinese have full confidence in their delegation. Members of the Chinese delegation not only have the experience and wisdom to cope with the situation, but they also have the firm support and trust of the entire Chinese society.

Undoubtedly, the delegation will bring both the strong will and goodwill of the Chinese government and people to Washington at this critical juncture.

If there is a new round of tariff conflicts, it would be a repeat, or an enhanced version of what happened in the past. It would definitely incur losses for China and the US, losses that are both direct and indirect, explicit and implicit. Anyway, the total scale of losses on both sides would be roughly the same. If Washington has its mind set on going back down the path of a trade war, then China will fight it to the end. China has always had a firm stand on a trade war: China does not want it; China is not afraid of it; China will launch it when necessary.

Seeking fairness and justice on the global stage sometimes requires a huge price. It also can be costly for different parties to reach consensus. In the past year, China and the US have been locked in a trade war and have had 10 rounds of trade talks. However, the two sides have failed to meet each other halfway to make a deal. Many are wondering how much it will cost the two countries before a final agreement is made. If the latest round of talks in Washington fails to solve the puzzle, then the two countries will have to keep searching for the answer in the future.- Global Times


China ready for any outcomes in trade talks with US

US President Donald Trump’s threat of increased tariffs
on Chinese goods has added more uncertainty to trade talks with China.
Some observers are worried that a tough stance may be …

Source: Global Times | 2019/5/8 20:38:40

China holds winning card in trade conflict with the US

Stocks in the Chinese mainland recovered from a deep
plunge triggered by concerns about an escalating trade battle with the
US on Monday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gaining

China ready for prolonged US trade war

After US officials threatened to escalate its trade war
with China, rattling global financial markets and angering some US
businesses, there is a distinctive, palpable level of calmness in China.
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