BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhua) — Washington’s latest protectionist moves are clearly in defiance of international trade rules and the global economic order.
On the heels of its move to raise additional tariffs on 200 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on May 10, the United States is now threatening new tariffs on 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports.
The punitive tariffs, a unilateral move, are a serious violation of World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as other international trade rules.
The excuses the White House gave to justify its actions are untenable.
Claiming that Chinese goods exported to the United States, such as vehicles and steel and aluminum, constitute a threat to U.S. national security, Washington seems to have forgotten that China is not even on the list of steel imports source countries by the American Iron and Steel Institute, as the Asian country only represents a very small amount of steel imports into the U.S. market.
In its trade talks with China, Washington unfairly accused China of breaching the principle of “fair trade” and “reciprocity” regarding market access, in disregard of the two economies’ differences regarding resources endowment and industrial structure.
If “absolute reciprocity” should be the primary rule in China-U.S. trade, maybe it’s time for Washington to first recollect the multitude of cases in which the U.S. tariff on a certain item far exceeds that of China. Such as unshelled peanuts, on which China levies 15 percent in tariff, in comparison to the whopping 163.8 percent by the United States!
The country has also overlooked the fact that its companies have made huge gains in China over recent years from technology transfer and licensing on a mutual consent basis. Its accusations against China over the so-called “forced technology transfer” cannot hold ground.
The U.S. government is turning its back on multilateralism and the existing global free trading system, and has adopted a negative attitude toward its due responsibility in promoting global economic governance.
The United States is also paralyzing the WTO by blocking new appointments to its dispute settlement mechanism, the Appellate Body. According to Reuters, the U.S. government said it will not allow the Appellate Body to force it into a “straitjacket” of trade obligations.
Washington is breaking rules and disturbing global order for the benefit of its own, but these unilateral and hegemonic moves will eventually bear bitter fruit.