BEIJING – As the Unisted States prepeares for the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, China’s President Xi Jinping is gearing up for the possibility of a trade war.
Lester Ross, chairman of the policy committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in China say’s China is threatening to, and is preparing to, take steps in retaliation.
Ross cited a decision announced last week by China’s Ministry of Commerce to raise duties on distillers dried grains — a byproduct of ethanol production used as animal feed — from the United States.
Mei Xinyun, a researcher with China’s Ministry of Commerce, said China had refrained from engaging in a war of words with Trump over trade, but said China won’t be bullied and he drew attention to the recent anti-dumping measures.
“This is a way of saying ‘we don’t want to get into a row with you, but we will take action,’” he said. “Trump will need to pay the price should he want more trade friction.”
Slowing growth, rising protectionism, and unfair policy treatment for non-Chinese firms have led a vast majority — 81 percent — of respondents to the American Chamber of Commerce in China’s annual business climate survey to say they felt “less welcome” in the country last year.
American companies feel China is less welcoming to foreign businesses than in the past, a US business lobby group reported Wednesday, as trade tensions surge between the world’s top two economies.
According to the surveyed companies, protectionism in China has been increasing, with non-Chinese law firms, financial service companies, and real-estate developers complaining of double standards intended to give domestic companies the advantage over foreign firms.
More than 60 percent of the respondents have little or no confidence that Beijing will open China’s markets further in the next three years.
China today is “far from being a market economy,” Andy Collier of Oriental Capital Research told AFP, noting that the yuan currency is still not widely used for trade and its firms have only started to move overseas.
Source: AFP, Washington Post