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Could trade war lead to decoupling of U.S.-China economies?

U.S.-China flags

The Ambassador of China to the United States visited Grand Rapids Friday as a guest of the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan. Retired Ambassador Nicholas Burns was at his side for a discussion about the trade war and future U.S.-China relations and the global economy. 

His Excellency Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of China to the United States says China abides by World Trade Organization rules.

“I guess many people in China are puzzled. When we are trying to keep our door open and maybe open even wider to others, there are attempts here in the United States to raise the barriers, to close your doors.”

Ambassador Nicholas Burns made the point U.S. companies entering China’s market are greeted with barriers. He agrees with the use of tariffs and warns if differences cannot be resolved…“Are we looking at a future where after 40 years of integrating our economies globally, we’re now going to have a decupling of the global economy. There’ll be a U.S. and maybe western, liberal democracy economy where we trade with each other. China will be in a separate group. This would be a profound, seismic change for the world.”

His Excellency Cui Tiankai responded, “I share your worry about a possible decoupling of the two economies. I think this will hurt both of us. This will hurt the global economy because by nature technology will require openness, innovation and more integration of the global market. If you invent a new technology it’s not a piece of antique you lock it up in a safe and when there’s nobody else in the room you take it out and have a look. Technology, you have to put it to the market. You would look to as many people as possible to use it in order to make it useful. So, if we have a fragmentation of the global market. I’m quite sure it will hurt the advancement of technology and in the end it will hurt everybody. So, I do hope our two teams, they are working very hard now, could come to some agreement on the trade disputes and give more confidence to our two economies, to the business community, and to the world.”

If a trade deal cannot be reached by March 1st, the Trump Administration will raise tariffs on Chinese made goods once again.

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.