China Warns Of Protectionism As US Trade Row Simmers
Sumaira FH 10 days ago Wed 12th September 2018 | 06:01 PM
China warned Wednesday that protectionism threatens global growth and cautioned "individual countries" against isolationism, in a veiled reference to the deepening trade spat between Washington and Beijing that is being closely watched across Asia.
Hanoi, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 12th Sep, 2018 ) :China warned Wednesday that protectionism threatens global growth and cautioned "individual countries" against isolationism, in a veiled reference to the deepening trade spat between Washington and Beijing that is being closely watched across Asia.
Tensions between the UN and China were heightened last week when US President Donald Trump threatened to hit all China's exports to the US worth more than $500 billion as he doubles down on the "America First" agenda he says aims to protect jobs and industries from overseas competition.
"Some individual countries' protectionist and unilateral measures are gravely undermining the rules-based multilateral trading regime, posing a most serious hazard to the world economy," Hu said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Hanoi.
The trade row has dominated discussions at the WEF where Southeast Asian leaders have made the case for fewer trade barriers as America retreats from the region under Trump, who has decried trade deficits in the region.
"It underpins growth and stability, but is under pressure." The trade tussle between Washington and Beijing is being closely watched across Southeast Asia where some export-focused economies may be set to gain from the fallout.
"ASEAN countries don't want to count their chickens before they hatch," Fred Burke, managing partner at Baker McKenzie in Vietnam, told AFP.
"But I think they see it on a net basis as a gain for them because it means shifting manufacturing into Southeast Asia that was... (earlier) in China." - Protectionist woes - Although there could be a short-term boon to Southeast Asia, some analysts warn the long-term may be less rosy.
The region is "very export-driven... so any shift toward more trade barriers... is not good", Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, told AFP.
ASEAN trade increased by a value of nearly $1 trillion between 2007 and 2014 and the bloc had a collective GDP of $2.76 trillion last year after an enthusiastic embrace of trade liberalisation -- a marked contrast to Trump's policies.
In one of his first post-election moves, the US president pulled out of the sprawling 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), calling the trade pact a job killer.
The current edition of the WEF, which closes Thursday, is officially focused on how economies should adapt to so-called "disruptive technologies" such as automation and artificial intelligence that threaten to cull jobs in emerging economies.
Several regional leaders have joined the forum, including Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Cambodia's newly re-elected strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Suu Kyi is under intense global scrutiny over the Rohingya crisis and is scheduled to speak at the forum Thursday.
Myanmar has also faced international censure over the decision to jail two Reuters journalists for seven years under a draconian state secrets law for their coverage of a Rohingya massacre.