Commentary: U.S. economic bullying disrupts global trade, cooperation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 31, 2020
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BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government recently broadened sanctions against companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, sparking protests from its ally Germany.

It is not the first time that Washington has abused its advantages in the global financial and trade system to threaten sanctions against world economic order and undermine global economic security.

America's wanton sanctions against sovereign states and foreign legal entities have seriously thwarted global trade cooperation.

Over the years, Washington has imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela by introducing capital restraints and asset freezes, and targeted third parties, which has not only damaged the economic interests of those nations, but also undermined their rights to participate in global trade and economy.

Even U.S. allies face sanctions ahead. The Nord Stream 2 project, which will substantially increase the flow of Russian gas into Europe, may come to a halt because Washington believes it would adversely affect U.S. gas industry and weaken America's geo-political interests in Eurasia.

Germany, the endpoint of the pipeline, says the project will be completed despite U.S. sanctions. "We make decisions about our energy policy and energy supply here -- in Europe," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told local news network RND in an interview in October.

In disregard of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Washington frequently imposes tariffs against its trade partners and initiates trade frictions worldwide, seriously eroding the multilateral trading system.

Over the years, the United States has hit the European Union with increased tariffs on aircraft and agricultural goods, and Canada on aluminum. It has unilaterally started a trade war with China, and crippled the functioning of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

Its rule of action is simple -- it only follows international trade rules when they are in America's self interest. The interests of the international community at large are not Washington's concern.

According to a report by the WTO, the United States accounts for two-thirds of the violations of WTO rules.

By turning away from rule-based trade regime, which has been crucial for global growth, the United States would likely pay more but achieve less, said Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.

America's systemic economic bullying of non-U.S. companies has violated the principle of market economy and fair competition, and seriously disrupted the development of global industrial and supply chains.

To maintain its technology hegemony, the United States has in the past decades aggressively suppressed foreign rival companies, including Japan's Toshiba, France's Alstom, Sweden's Ericsson, and Germany's Siemens.

In a similar fashion, Washington is now bullying Chinese high-tech firms such as Huawei, which caused severe disruption to the global chip industries with many chipmaker stocks plummeting on the market.

While the semiconductor industry is global in nature, its foundation is heavily based on the United States.

"We are still reviewing the rule, but these broad restrictions on commercial chip sales will bring significant disruption to the U.S. semiconductor industry," John Neuffer, president and CEO of the country's Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement.

America's pursuit of technology hegemony has turned the country into a stumbling block to global economic and technology advancement.

Instead of leading the world in innovation, Washington is relentlessly cracking down on foreign rivals by abusing sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, blatantly disrupting global economic order.

Amid the raging pandemic and headwinds to globalization, countries must stand together to strengthen global economic growth through strong cooperation, free trade and commitment to rules.

America's wanton sanctions, tariffs and economic bullying are going against the trend of history, and its pursuit of self-interest at the expense of others will not succeed. Enditem

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