Trump trade ac­tion could hin­der ties An­tic­i­pated US in­ves­ti­ga­tion tar­get­ing China’s prac­tices an ‘abuse of sta­tus’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By JING SHUIYU and ZHONG NAN

China has put a strong em­pha­sis on in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights pro­tec­tions and urged all WTO mem­bers to re­spect the rules of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Min­istry of Com­merce said on Thurs­day as US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pre­pares to launch a broad in­ves­ti­ga­tion into China’s trade poli­cies.

“China and US trade co­op­er­a­tion is the ‘bal­last and pro­pel­ler’ of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and is mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial. We hope the two coun­tries will con­tinue on a path of co­op­er­a­tion,” Com­merce Min­istry spokesman Gao Feng said at a news con­fer­ence.

Trump is ex­pected to make a speech and sign a mem­o­ran­dum at the White House on Fri­day tar­get­ing China’s in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and trade prac­tices, the CNBC news chan­nel re­ported.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­sid­er­ing ini­ti­at­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Chi­nese trade prac­tices un­der Sec­tion 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. It al­lows the head of state to uni­lat­er­ally im­pose tar­iffs or other trade re­stric­tions to pro­tect US in­dus­tries from un­fair trade prac­tices of for­eign coun­tries.

Since t he World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion was es­tab­lished in 1995, US Sec­tion 301 in­ves­ti­ga­tions have not led to trade sanc­tions. It was adopted to levy tar­iffs against Ja­panese mo­tor­cy­cles, steel and other prod­ucts in the 1980 s.

If the US ini­ti­ates an in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der Sec­tion 301, that would in­di­cate that it wants to re­place in­ter­na­tional law with its do­mes­tic law, said Zhao Ping, di­rec­tor of the de­part­ment of in­ter­na­tional trade re­search at the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade.

“The move would be un­rea­son­able and vi­o­late in­ter­na­tional prac­tice,” she said. “A US at­tempt to use uni­lat­er­al­ism to over­ride mul­ti­lat­eral rules would be an abuse of its sta­tus as a su­per­power on t he world stage. It would show dis­re­spect for other coun­tries.”

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion might do so partly be­cause it is look­ing to “di­vert at­ten­tion from his (Trump’s) do­mes­tic eco­nomic weak­ness,” she added.

China and the US agreed to ini­ti­ate a com­pre­hen­sive 100day ac­tion plan to ad­dress the trade im­bal­ance in April. Un­der the plan, China will re­sume US beef im­ports and al­low rice im­ports for the first time.

China-US trade vol­ume reached 1.85 tril­lion yuan ($272 bil­lion) in the first half of this year, up 21.3 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cus­toms.

Such a pol­icy against China could “def­i­nitely harm work­ers and en­trepreneurs in both coun­tries”, said Zhou Mi, a se­nior re­search fel­low at the Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion.

Wei Jian­guo, vice-pres­i­dent of the China Cen­ter for In­ter­na­tional Eco­nomic Ex­changes, said C hina’s im­por ts from the US will in­crease faster than its ex­ports in the se­cond half of 2017, so the US trade def- icit with China is likely to be nar­rowed.

Wei said that the US is ex­pected to over­take the Euro­pean Union as China’s largest trade part­ner this year with such growth.

“The world econ­omy is cur­rently on track to re­cover, but un­cer­tain and un­sta­ble fac- tors still ex­ist,” said Gao.

“We are will­ing to work to­gether with the US to jointly pro­mote China-US eco­nomic and trade re­la­tions, as well as to in­ject fresh vi­tal­ity into the world econ­omy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.