U.S.-China trade has decreased by 14.5% in the past year—and Chinese officials argue America is responsible.
- Chinese Ambassador Xie Feng spoke by video at a Forbes business forum on Tuesday in a speech on business relations between the two countries.
- Feng blames U.S. tariffs and export controls for decreasing trade between the world’s two largest trading partners.
- The ambassador called for a mutually beneficial path forward that encouraged economic cooperation and trade between the two countries.
- US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo traveled to Beijing and Shanghai between August 27 and 30, joining other recent politicians—Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Climate Envoy John Kerry—visiting the country this year amid high tensions.
Why It’s News
Tensions between the U.S. and China are at an all-time high, with both countries saber rattling and taking punitive action against one another in response to perceived slights and aggressions.
In August, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order limiting U.S. investments in Chinese tech research due to national security concerns. This was just the most recent in a series of escalations, following military hostility against Taiwan, Apple considering moving plants to India, and allegations that TikTok owner ByteDance is feeding U.S. data to the Chinese government.
China faces additional internal problems threatening the global economy, including deflation, high unemployment, demographic collapse, and considerable debt—leading Western consumers to cool imports. Biden affirmed in a recent speech that the Chinese Communist Party are “bad folks” and said, “China is in trouble.” He continues, “They have got some problems. That’s not good because when bad folks have problems, they do bad things.”
Raimondo told reporters this week that U.S. firms are losing confidence in China, considering it to be a country that is “uninvestable” thanks in part to Chinese crackdowns on American firms. She offered warm words after returning from her trip, telling investors to keep doing what they are doing as both countries continue negotiating.
“This is a direct consequence of U.S. moves to levy Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, abuse unilateral sanctions and further tighten up export controls,” says Feng. “Livelihoods of many families have been affected, and businesses from both countries have born the brunt … The biggest risk is any decoupling between China and the United States, and the largest source of insecurity comes from any confrontation between the two.”
“Going forward, we need to continue taking concrete steps, no matter how small they may look … It is simply confusing that the United States, which repeatedly urged China to expand access for foreign investment in the past, is now imposing restrictions itself. Instead of containing China, it will only curtail the right of American businesses to develop in China.”