The U.S. government's recent tough measures on trade have raised concerns over China-U.S. economic ties, but analysts on both sides of the Pacific say the world's two largest economies have better choices.
U.S. BECOMES INCREASINGLY PROTECTIONIST
China has made it clear that it wants healthy and win-win trade cooperation with the United States, but recent months have indicated that the latter has other calculations.
In late January, U.S. President Donald Trump approved imposing safeguard tariffs of up to 50 percent on imported washers for the next three years and of up to 30 percent on solar cells and modules for the next four years.
The move marked the first time since 2001 that the U.S. government has used Section 201, an outdated tool under the rarely used Trade Act of 1974, to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions on foreign imports.
In the latest trade protectionist move by the Trump administration, the U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday launched anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations against imports of large-diameter welded pipes from several countries, including China.
Moreover, Trump on Tuesday threatened further actions against his country's two major Asian trading partners, warning of sanctions against China while vowing to revise or scrap a free trade deal with South Korea.
The president said he was "considering all options," including tariffs and quotas.
The Trump administration is now focused on altering "trade and current account imbalances," Dana Peterson, director of North America economics with Citi Research, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
Besides renegotiating trade agreements, the United States is also more publicly pursuing complaints in the World Trade Organization (WTO), launching high-profile investigations of "tax and trade abuses," and imposing punitive trade actions, she said, adding that "the current course is likely to continue throughout 2018."
There is a significant risk of further anti-China trade actions by the Trump administration, said Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
Last August, the U.S. Trade Representative launched so-called Section 301 investigations against China in three broad areas: intellectual property rights, innovation and technology development. This is likely to lead to follow-up sanctions.