Former US ambassador warns: 'We must avoid a trade war'

Xinhua
The US-China relationship established four decades ago is the most important of bilateral ties in the world today.
Xinhua

The US-China relationship established four decades ago is the most important of bilateral ties in the world today and peoples in both countries are benefiting from the deepening economic integration, former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke has said.

“We are gathering here in Silicon valley at a time of rising tensions between the United States and China with the potential of a full blown trade war,” Locke said over the weekend in a keynote speech at the 2018 annual conference of a prominent Chinese American group, the Committee of 100 (C100).

The two countries, however, are increasingly economically interdependent since China’s opening-up, said Locke, who was a former governor of US state of Washington and a former US Secretary of Commerce.

“Today, roughly US$1.5 billion of goods and services flow between our two countries every single day. China is our largest export market outside of North America, with exports to China growing at twice the rate as exports to the rest of the world, and America is China’s largest export market exceeding exports to all of the EU countries combined,” he said.

“More than 900,000 American jobs depend on producing goods and services exported to China and more than 2.6 million jobs in the US and many, many millions more in China depend on two-way trade between our two countries, so people in both countries are benefiting from this deepening economic integration,” he said.

Locke noted that esteemed panelists at the C100 panel “US-China Trade and Economic Outlook” agreed that there are no winners in a trade war, only losers. “Tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States will only raise the price of components used by American manufacturers. Then that will either reduce their profits or force them to charge higher prices, thereby making their products less competitive against foreign competitors in America and overseas.”

“It’s a tough time in the US-China relationship. We must avoid a trade war,” Locke told the more than 500 leaders and experts in government, business, technology, academia, and media attending the two-day C100 annual conference, a premier forum on US-China relations and Chinese-American advancement.

The New York-based C100 is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and arts.


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