Trade war marks strategic shift in US policy toward China: expert-Sino-US

Trade war marks strategic shift in US policy toward China: expert

The trade war that was unilaterally launched by US President Donald Trump signals a strategic change in Washington's trade policy toward Beijing, and might last through 2019, as the two countries have ended the high-level trade talks, according to an expert.

The escalating tariff threats would cause damages to the economies of the two countries, but the damages might not be as serious as expected, and China would lose more if it makes concessions to Trump, who sees his tough stance as a political victory, said David Dollar, a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development programs in the John L. Thornton China Center.

One of the biggest damages is the loss of job opportunities especially in the sectors which feature high productivity and salaries, according to Dollar.

In Dollar's opinion, China would be affected more badly than the United States as the world's second-largest economy is growing at a lower speed, compared with the United States, which is accelerating its economic growth by financial incentive policies.

On Monday, China's National Bureau of Statistics released the economic data for the second quarter of 2018, saying that the Chinese economy grew 6.7 percent in the last quarter year-on-year, which is slightly below the first quarter's 6.8 percent. The official target for the 2018 economic growth is around 6.5 percent.

Mao Shengyong, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics, said that the Chinese economic growth was stable, but stressed that the uncertainties of external environment are mounting. "Generally speaking, trade frictions unilaterally started by the United States will have an impact on the economies of both countries," said Mao.

Some economists also partly attribute the slower economic growth to the escalating US-China trade row, which would affect future gross domestic product readings through the manufacturing and logistics service sectors.

Additionally, Dollar said that China's position of being at the end of many global value chains would amplify the negative effects of the US-China trade war.

Dollar predicted that the Trump administration would keep this hostile trade policy unchanged by the mid-term elections set to be held in November.

On Monday, China's Ministry of Commerce said that it had filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization in protest against the Trump administration's proposed plan to impose new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump has reportedly said that he wants to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization, which the US president said is "designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States."

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