US could benefit from China’s lowered tariffs

By Mei Xinyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/23 22:08:40

Photo: IC

While China's move on Monday to lower tariffs on hundreds of foreign products are clearly not aimed at the US alone, US businesses, particularly high-tech companies, could benefit greatly from the decision. However, that would require the US government to shift certain policies.

While many of the products subject to tariff reductions are imported from countries around the world, there is one category that could be a strong suit for US companies: advanced technologies and high-tech components, such as semiconductors and ic memories.

China has long encouraged the import of high-tech products by lowering tariffs on such products; however, Washington has been placing restrictions on such exports to China because of some ill-conceived claims that China steals its core technologies.

As China has been saying all throughout the trade war, given the highly intertwined nature of the global value chain, no one country can control the sharing of technologies. Barring US businesses from selling their products is just closing the door to opportunities.

From the start of the trade war, China has said it would increase imports from not just the US but around the world in a bid to achieve balanced and mutually beneficial trade. It is the US that has failed to match China's efforts, even as it seeks to reduce its trade deficit with China.

From China's perspective, the US' banning of high-tech exports to China will only expedite domestic efforts in pursuit of technological breakthroughs and diversify sources for importing such products. 

It is hoped that the US will do its part to lower barriers so that its companies can fully take advantage of China's opening up measures rather than set up barriers. Losing the vast Chinese market could become an existential issue for some US businesses.

The author is a research fellow at Ministry of Commerce's Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation 


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