Former US Commerce Secretary: We will Regret the Trade Dispute

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Image: Goldcastle iStock

Former US commerce secretary Carlos Gutierrez was quoted in a CNBC report saying that the US will regret its trade war with Beijing when its tariffs end up slowing down China's economy significantly,

Gutierrez, who served under former President George W. Bush, said he worries that the U.S. will push China "over the cliff" and eventually drag down the global economy, according to the report.

The slowdown in China’s economic growth will eventually impact everyone, he pointed out.

"That's not good for the world. We may think that China's rise may be bad for the U.S., that China is a strategic competitor ... but the moment China's growth rate declines, we will regret it," he was cited as saying in the report.

The US has already imposed tariffs on US $50 billion of Chinese imports.

The country has also ended a public comment period for another US$200 billion of Chinese goods while Trump said he’s ready to go with duties on an additional US$267 billion worth of Chinese products.

The former commerce secretary was also cited as criticizing Trump’s “public approach” of dealing with the China-US trade conflicts.

"I would take a private approach. The problem with doing it in public is that it can humiliate a country. We're talking about sovereign countries, not businesses, and to put China in a position of publicly being called out and potentially publicly humiliated, publicly losing face, that can't succeed," he was quoted as saying.

US Federal Agency: Trade War to Decelerate US Growth in 2019 and beyond

The former commerce secretary wasn't the first public figure openly disagreeing with Trump's approach in dealing with the trade dispute in China.

Last month, Keith Hall, director at the US’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the trade war could hurt US's GDP growth more than anticipated, as escalations might result in tariffs on all goods traded between the two countries

The CBO in its updated economic outlook projects that inflation adjusted or real GDP’d grow 3.1% this year, surpassing the 2.2% growth last year because of lower income taxes, increased government spending and private investment.

However, the federal agency predicts that the country’s economic growth would decelerate in the second half of this year as growth in consumer spending and agricultural exports either fades or reverses. One example is reduced future export of soybean to China because of tit-for-tat tariffs from the ongoing trade war.

“In 2019, the GDP will slow to 2.4% as growth in investment and government purchases slows,” Hall said in a statement.

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