Once again, Washington's word proves worthless
It is getting harder and harder for members of the world community to deal with the current US administration, as it clearly has a problem keeping the country's word. It has scrapped international treaties at will, and it has shown a double face in bilateral trade talks with almost all its major trading partners.
It is China that is now bearing the brunt of the US administration's disreputable behavior. On Friday, the US administration threatened to impose 10 percent in tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods, starting next month. This was just two days after trade representatives from China and the United States concluded the 12th round of high-level economic and trade talks in Shanghai, with the US side describing the talks as "constructive".
The new US tariff decision not only violates the consensus reached between the top leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June, it also casts a shadow over future talks.
Many in China are asking: If the US will not keep its promises, what is the use of painstakingly negotiating and trying to reach a deal with it?
Maybe in the eyes of some hawkish Americans, this is just part and parcel of exerting "maximum pressure" on China. But Beijing has long made it clear it will not "make any concession" on issues of principle, nor will it give in to coercion.
Hence, not only are the US administration's pressure tactics doomed to fail, it will also lose any remaining credibility it may have in front of the rest of the world. Not to mention using tariffs to adjust the bilateral trade imbalance will hurt the US economy too: Unsurprisingly the US stock market plunged after Trump's new tariff announcement.
Although it is one of the great talents of the current US administration to know how to take possession of popular prejudices and passions, more and more insightful people in political and business circles in the US have joined the chorus against the administration' trade war with China.
And it does not need an expert in economics to know that no country will emerge unhurt from a trade war, and more and more people in the US are paying the price for the administration's zero-sum game.
The ball is in the US' court now. It should return to the right track of addressing trade issues through talks based on equality and mutual respect. Otherwise, it will have to bear the consequences.