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Trade wars called self-defeating, harmful to everyone involved
A worker sorts and removes imperfect almonds at Capay Canyon Ranch in Esparto, California, in April. Some US agricultural companies worry about the impact of the US-China trade disputes on farmers and agriculture. (Photo:Agencies)
 
A trade war is self-defeating as well as harmful to others, and it is meaningless to discuss who suffers more, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.
 
Geng Shuang spoke after remarks were reported in the United States that the US will suffer less than China from trade tensions.
 
"They are under pressure to make a deal with us," US President Donald Trump tweeted in reference to China on Thursday. "Our markets are surging, theirs are collapsing."
 
The escalation of the China-US trade conflict does not conform to the interests of either side, Geng said, adding that dialogue and consultation based on equality and honesty are the only right ways to solve the problem.
 
Geng confirmed on Thursday that China had received an invitation from Washington to renew trade negotiations, and he added that China welcomes this and the countries are talking about the details.
 
During six days of public hearings held in Washington in August about proposed new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, dozens of US companies voiced their concerns over escalating trade tensions.
 
"The US Trade Representative's proposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports dramatically expands the harm to US consumers, workers, businesses and the economy," the US Chamber of Commerce said in written testimony for the hearing, according to Reuters.
 
A broad cross section of US businesses warned that the proposed tariffs will force Americans to pay more for items - from cradles to coffins - that are used on a daily basis, it said.
 
According to a joint survey released by AmCham China and AmCham Shanghai on Thursday, about two-thirds of US companies operating in China said that the initial US tariffs on $50 billion in goods are affecting their business operations.
 
More than 70 percent of US companies surveyed said the imposition of additional US tariffs would have a negative impact.
 
"The US government tariff measures will only be counterproductive," Geng said.
 
"We again urge the US to listen to the strong call from its business communities and consumers as well as the consensus of the international community to uphold multilateralism and free trade, come back to its senses and stop unilateral and trade protection practices," he said.
 
The spokesman said that despite increasing uncertainties and destabilizing factors, China's economy is stable and improving.
 
The Chinese government has the confidence and ability to ensure the economy continues to develop steadily and healthily, he added.
 
China's GDP in the first half of this year saw 6.8 percent growth. The number of new overseas-funded companies established in the January-August period surged 102.7 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said. Also, China's customs authorities said imports and exports went up 9.1 percent in the first eight months of the year.

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