The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump’s chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices.
“We’re at economic war with China,” Steve Bannon told US news site prospect.org in an interview published in Wednesday.
“It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path,” he was quoted as saying. “If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”
China’s government on Thursday warned “there is no winner in a trade war” reacting to comments made by the US President’s aide. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had seen the report, and reiterated the essence of the China-US trade relationship is mutually beneficial.
“In reality, China and the United States’ long term cooperation has brought about real benefits for both countries’ peoples, any unbiased person will clearly see this fact,” she told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
“We have also said before, a trade war has no future. A trade war does not serve the interests of any party, as fighting a trade war will not produce a winner. We hope that relevant parties can stop viewing issues of the 21st century with a 19th- or 20th-century mentality.”
On Monday, Trump instructed US trade officials to look into whether to launch a formal investigation into whether Beijing improperly requires foreign companies to hand over technology as a condition of market access.
The Chinese government criticised that as a violation of the spirit of global trade rules. It warned it will take “all appropriate measures” if Chinese companies are hurt.
Bannon said the United States would use Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from US corporations doing business in China and follow up with complaints against steel and aluminium dumping, according to prospect.org.
On Monday, Trump authorised an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration against Beijing.
“We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us,” said Bannon, who acknowledged he was battling trade doves within the US administration.
He said there was no reason to go soft on China in order to get Beijing’s support over North Korea because he believed China would do little more to rein in Pyongyang.