China state media urges US to drop win-at-all-costs trade stance

A newspaper featuring a front page photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (not seen) during Xi’s visit to Pyongyang. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 June 2019

China state media urges US to drop win-at-all-costs trade stance

  • The newspaper urged the United States to cancel all tariffs on Chinese goods, saying the only way to resolve trade issues was through “equal dialogue”
  • It said all previous hearings had shown “overwhelming” opposition to tariff increases from all walks of life, but it had made no difference

SHANGHAI: Instead of waging a trade war with China, the United States should drop its win-at-all-costs mentality and consider the interests of its own people as well as the global community, the official People’s Daily said an editorial on Saturday.
The Chinese Communist Party’s newspaper urged the United States to cancel all tariffs on Chinese goods, saying the only way to resolve trade issues was through “equal dialogue.”
Hopes that the two sides can rekindle negotiations were raised in the run-up to a meeting next week between President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Donald Trump in Japan, where they will both attend a Group of 20 summit.
The Office of the US Trade Representative is holding seven days of hearings from manufacturers and other businesses likely to be affected by a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports proposed by US President Donald Trump.
The People’s Daily said all previous hearings had shown “overwhelming” opposition to tariff increases from all walks of life, but it had made no difference.
“It seems that some people in the United States are waving the tariff stick in order to strengthen their so-called ‘industrial competitive advantage’,” it said.
“They do not consider public opinion, do not consider national conditions, and do not take the international economic order into account. They just want the renown as ‘winners’ but cannot understand the fact that they basically cannot win.”
The US National Retail Federation (NRF) said on Friday that the proposed tariff extension on Chinese goods, including cellphones and computers, could cost US consumers an additional $12.2 billion each year.


Economists fear a US recession in 2021

Updated 19 August 2019

Economists fear a US recession in 2021

  • Trump’s higher budget deficits ‘might dampen the economy’

WASHINGTON: A number of US business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the US by the end of 2021.

Thirty-four percent of economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

That’s up from 25 percent in a survey taken in February. Only 2 percent of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, while 38 percent predict that it will occur in 2020.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, “I don’t think we’re having a recession.” A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key US trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada. 

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But US trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the US and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60 percent of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the US buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a US recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of US-China trade negotiations. Only 5 percent predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64 percent suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25 percent expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1. That was before the White House announced 10 percent tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. US retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.