Chinese state media argue a trade war between China and the United States would harm both countries, reflecting concerns over the protectionist stance taken by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Ryan Brooks reports.
Beijing's state-run mouthpiece painting a trade war with Washington as a lose-lose situation on Wednesday (January 25). An editorial in the overseas edition of the People's Daily warning Donald Trump that both sides would suffer if that's what it came to. The U.S. president has been leveling his economic sights at Beijing as part of his "America First" policy. And as Reuters Sue-lin Wong reports, some experts believe there's truth in the line from Beijing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHINA ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT, SUE-LIN WONG, SAYING: "President Trump has threatened to slap a 45% tax on Chinese imports. But economists say that this could really hurt American consumers. For example a lot of Wal-Mart's products could come from China. And so a tax on these kinds of products into the U.S. could be passed down to the American consumer. Another example popular among economists are iPhones. If there was a tax to be put on iPhones, because they're coming from China, that also would mean that the price of iPhones in the U.S. would go up. The flipside is that China is the world's most populous country, with 1.4 billion customers, a market that U.S. companies really can't afford to ignore, and so any kind of trade war would also impact U.S. multinationals." A separate state media editorial went beyond business, too, trying to make the case that backing off free trade could hurt America's political place in the world. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHINA ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT, SUE-LIN WONG, SAYING: "The Global Times, which is a state-run tabloid, made the argument today that if the U.S., as the world's most powerful country and main rulemaker, cannot benefit from the existing world order, then it is not going to benefit from a more chaotic one, which is the direction Trump is heading in." China's ambassador to Washington went one step further Wednesday, telling state media China cannot take over as the sole global leader writing the rules of trade. But after Trump dramatically pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, some argue that's what it could end up becoming, whether it likes it or not.