CRI在线收听:U.S. tariff moves undermines international trade rules: experts


Observers believe that the U.S. side's threat to impose tariffs on even more Chinese products is in fact a tit-for-tat measure.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to slap 100 billion U.S. dollars of additional tariffs on China, one day after China announced a list of U.S. products worth 50 billion dollars subject to additional 25 percent tariffs, in order to strike back at a previous U.S. tariff proposal of the same size.

The proposed tariffs from the U.S. side are based on a so-called Section 301 investigation launched by Trump's administration last year, into Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices.

Experts suggested the move by the U.S. violates World Trade Organization rules.

"First of all, the Section 301 investigation is based on the U.S. domestic trade laws. To handle global disputes by taking measures based on domestic laws does not make any sense. Secondly, the U.S. is trying to propose two separate tariff plans rather than one, both based on Section 301 investigations. That clearly demonstrates its intention to benefit itself at the expense of others," said Yu Miaojie, deputy head of National School of Development at Peking University.

Others also warned that the U.S. actions could pose a threat to the global economy.

"In 2017, China's exports to the U.S. totaled some 400 billion dollars. As such, according to the two separate tariff plans, the U.S. is seeking to slap tariffs on Chinese imports worth a total of 150 billion dollars, accounting for 35 percent of China's exports to the U.S. That huge amount poses a serious challenge to global economic development and also severely undermines international trade rules," said Ren Dongyan, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Ren also suggested that China could take countermeasures, such as further expanding its markets to the outside world.

"China could introduce new measures showing that it will always remain open to the outside world. It could also open up more new markets abroad through cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, countries along the Lancang-Mekong River, as well as through platforms such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation or the China International Import Expo," said Ren.

China's Ministry of Commerce has said the country is fully prepared and will not hesitate to strike back fiercely at U.S. tariff escalations.

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