Kicking off a trade war is an ‘own goal’ by the United States

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On June 1, the United States introduced unilateral tariffs on steel and aluminum products from the European Union, and it has been provoking economic and trade frictions with China. This recent bout of trade protectionism has aroused opposition in many countries. As Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, said in an interview: “There have been nine own goals in the World Cup so far this summer. That’s the highest number in tournament history. This (U.S. trade war) is the tenth own goal of this summer”.

[File Photo: VCG]

[File Photo: VCG]

U.S. media: Economic and trade frictions will cause huge losses for the U.S.

Recently, some mainstream media in the United States have been paying close attention to the domestic impact of the China-US economic and trade frictions. Some analysts believe that the trade war is likely to have an impact on the mid-term elections in November. If President Trump insists on a trade war, he is likely to face political pressure from voters and from inside the Republican Party itself.

“Eighty-seven percent of the computer companies in China that are subject to this tariff are not Chinese, and a lot of them are American,” explained Derek Thompson. “Of the 30 districts that are most affected by the soybean tariffs that China has now implemented in the United States, 25 of them voted for Trump. This is a self-inflicted wound. We are taxing ourselves in order to punish China for a completely unrelated tech problem”.

Asa Hutchinson, the Republican Governor of Arkansas. [Screenshot: CCTV]

Asa Hutchinson, the Republican Governor of Arkansas. [Screenshot: CCTV]

The Republican Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, said in an interview with NBC that agriculture is the state’s largest industry, and warned that China’s 25 percent countermeasure tariff on American soybeans will cut Arkansas’ soybean revenue by two-thirds. “We rely on our exports overseas in terms of products, and agricultural products more specifically. We are hurt both by the tariffs that we impose and by the tariffs that come back in the retaliatory fashion,” the governor said.

Nordic countries oppose U.S. trade protectionism 

The unilateral American moves towards protectionism have provoked widespread controversy in the Nordic countries. Finland’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Development said that the American claim that the tariffs on steel and aluminum products were needed for national security reasons was far-fetched.

Compared with Finland, Denmark will experience heavier economic losses as a result of the tariffs, because it is an important supplier of auto industry parts for the United States as well as steel and aluminum products. According to the Danish Federation of Industry, the tariffs will result in a loss of around 30 million U.S. dollars in exports.

Norway is also going to take an economic hit as a result of the tariffs, as it is a major producer of aluminum. Speaking with China Central Television on Wednesday, a spokesperson from Norway’s national federation of industry and commerce said that they were concerned about the American decision to violate World Trade Organization rules. The spokesperson said that manufacturing and trade are more closely linked than they have ever been before, and that imposing barriers on trade is not in anyone’s interest.