Trump’s ac­tions dam­aged US’ in­ter­na­tional lead­er­ship

China Daily (USA) - - VIEWS - The au­thor is deputy ed­i­tor of China Daily USA. chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump es­ca­lated the trade quar­rel be­tween the United States and China this week by an­nounc­ing he in­tends to im­pose ad­di­tional 10 per­cent tar­iffs on Chinese im­ports worth $200 bil­lion.

When and how the trade con­flict be­tween the world’s two largest economies will end is any­one’s guess. How­ever, one thing is clear: The dam­age it has done to the US’ im­age and global lead­er­ship will dwarf any vic­tory he tries to de­clare. In this sense, the US has al­ready lost “bigly” with its many pro­tec­tion­ist and iso­la­tion­ist mea­sures.

Trump’s ig­no­rance is stag­ger­ing. He be­lieves that trade is a zero-sum game, and that a coun­try with a trade deficit is be­ing taken ad­van­tage of by its trade part­ners.

Yet many econ­o­mists and trade ex­perts have tried to en­lighten Trump over the past year, in­clud­ing Ja­son Dedrick of Syra­cuse Univer­sity, Greg Lin­den at Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, and Ken­neth Krae­mer at UC, Irvine, who wrote this week on the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s mis­read­ing of the trade deficit, such as in the case of iPhone 7.

The US has lost be­cause Trump’s uni­lat­eral and pro­tec­tion­ist ac­tions have de­prived the US of any moral high ground.

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