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July 13, 2018

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Tariff wars threaten global economy

SINCE the world economy is highly interwoven into a global supply chain, tariff wars would hamper the world economy in a way which no one could escape from, a US expert warns.

Michael D. Maher, senior program advisor for the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, made the remarks when commenting on the recent trade tension between the United States and China.

He said that “impacting the ability of China’s export to the US actually can impact (US) domestic companies because that’s part of their supply chain.”

Washington on last Friday announced a 25-percent additional tariff on US$34 billion of imports from China.

In the latest escalation of its trade offensive against China, the United States said Tuesday it will impose 10 percent tariffs on an additional US$200 billion of Chinese imports.

The Trump administration is also pushing tariffs against other countries.

Maher said the boundaries of domestic economies have been blurred with the development of economic globalization.

“There is no such thing that is a purely domestic company or a purely foreign company. They are all becoming interwoven,” said the expert at the Houston-based think tank and nonpartisan center for public policy research.

Instead of protecting its own domestic economy, the United States should pay more attention to the global economy which is much bigger and interdependent, he said.

“Our future is tied not just to our domestic market, it’s the global market. So if there are issues, let’s get down and negotiate on them,” he added.

According to Maher, the global trade system over the past 40 to 50 years has increased global economic growth quite a bit, but unilateral tariff moves are going to break that down and at the same time will slow down economic growth.

“Global trade tied people together, not split them apart,” he said.


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