China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) and chambers of commerce of some countries has decided to join hands to fight against trade and investment protectionism.

The decision was made at a meeting in Beijing on July 5 when CCPIT Vice Chairman Lu Pengqi called on business community of all countries to work together to fight against protectionism and safeguard the multilateral economic and trade system.

“The recent trade protectionism measures adopted by the United States has severely disrupted the global economic and trade order, seriously undermined the legal rights and interests of the world’s business community, and particularly had negative impacts on developing countries. China is continuously speeding up its reform, improving global governance system and construct an open global economy,” added Lu.

Lu warned that trade protectionism will bring every country down without benefiting any party. Should every country use trade protectionism as a weapon to contain other countries, the global economy is likely to encounter stagnation.

Most delegates believed that the unilateral or bilateral measures normally taken by the United States will certainly lead to domino effects and vicious competition, which will result in more unilateral actions to be taken within the global range. They warned the U.S.’ deeds will not only hinder its economic growth but will add more uncertainty to the world economy.

The delegates hailed the progress that China has achieved in the past four decades since China adopted reform and opening up in 1978. They praised China has become the main stabilizer and engine for the world economic growth during its cooperation with all countries in the world. China’s achievements attributed to the open trade environment that China advocated, as well as the open and mutually-beneficial policies. Recently, China lowered tariffs on imported vehicles, auto parts, garments, footwear, culinary utilities, sports goods, electric appliances, aquatic products, cosmetics, etc. by a large margin. Meanwhile, China will open 22 industries to foreign investment, which include finance, manufacturing, agriculture, etc. China will also continue to relax market access and reduce the restrictions on foreign direct investment. Compared to trade protectionism taken by the U.S. government, China adheres to multilateralism and open policy, which will certainly revitalize the world economy.

According to the delegates, U.S.’ trade protectionism will hinder the U.S. economy to get revitalized. What is worse, it will lead to the shrinking of global trade and harm to the interests of other countries. According to an investigation from South Korea, ROK’s export to China will decrease by 20 per cent should the U.S.’ export to China is cut by 10 per cent. In addition, China-U.S. trade wars may increase the import of Brazil’s soybeans within a short period of time, but in the long run, it will certainly result in the price hike of soybeans and in the meantime the price hike of animal feeds so that the cost of animal husbandry will be raised. Consequently, in the globalization process, the interests of all countries are interwoven with each other. No single country can stay alone hence the necessity and importance of cooperation and mutual benefits.

Delegates have agreed that the chambers of commerce of all countries shall speak out for building a multilateral economic and trade system, jointly combat trade protectionism, create an open, fair and efficient international business environment, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and make sure the economic globalization can achieve win-win results. The chambers of commerce and industry shall use its advantages to assist enterprises in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests, and in fostering cooperation, communication and exchanges in a bid to fight against trade and investment protectionism.

Delegates from the chambers of commerce and industry of the European Union (EU), Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Colombia, etc. participated in the meeting.

Source: CCPIT