China should seek allies among large trading powers whose products are subject to United States tariffs, as Washington's moves have significantly hurt the world economy, an expert recently suggested.
The comment follows the U.S. increasing tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on May 10 from 10 percent to 25 percent. In response, China raised tariffs to 25 percent on some products in a list of $60 billion worth of U.S. goods starting Saturday.
"Both sides are taking a hard stance and neither is willing to back down," said Ei Sun Oh, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
He said that the U.S. recently threatened to impose tariffs on other countries, like Mexico and India, so it is instigating "trade war". China should seek allies among the countries hit by these U.S. threats. Beijing would have a better hand in negotiating with Washington, if one day the two decide to restart talks.
In a statement on Friday, the White House said that the U.S. will end on Wednesday its preferential trade treatment for India, which exempts billions of dollars of its products from U.S. tariffs due to its developing country status.
U.S. President Donald Trump also said he would impose 5 percent tariffs on all imported Mexican goods beginning June 10 and gradually increase them to 25 percent. Those tariffs would continue until the issue of undocumented migrants was remedied.
Aaron Jed Rabena, of Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress in Manila, said the U.S. wants a deal that will uphold its "America first" policy, and China does not want a deal that would impede its pace of economic liberalization.
Jochum Haakma, chairman of the EU-China Business Association in Brussels, said, "The U.S. is trying to contain China, because it wants to prevent China from becoming a dominant economic superpower."
"People should not forget that the (European Union) has been China's biggest trading partner for 14 years and EU companies have invested twice as much in China as the U.S. has over the past decade," he said.
European and Chinese leaders agreed in April that by 2020 they could sign an investment treaty fostering reciprocal access to their domestic markets. This would build on the consensus reached in 2018 that China and the EU would jointly promote multilateralism and reinforce the current rules-based trading system.