Share this story...
China, trade war
Latest News

Gary Locke: Americans would be hurt in trade war with China

Stocks opened sharply higher on Wall Street as investors were encouraged to see conciliatory remarks from China's leader over trade. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It’s Americans who should breathe a sigh of relief after Chinese President Xi Jinping made steps to ease tensions with the U.S. by reducing tariffs.

RELATED: China tariffs will raise ‘high level of concern’ for Boeing

Former Washington State Governor Gary Locke told KIRO Nights that imposing tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States is the “wrong way to go.”

“Ultimately, it will hurt workers and consumers on both sides of the Pacific, and actually hurt more Americans,” said Locke, also the former U.S. ambassador to China.

Why? Because so much of what American companies make rely on smaller parts made in China. Tariffs would just make those parts more expensive. That means the American products being made with Chinese components would be more expensive to make. Profits will drop.

“So much of what we buy as consumers is made in China and there’s really no alternative,” Locke said.

But that’s not to say relations can’t improve. Locke agrees that China’s trade policies have long been unfair. So many of sectors of the Chinese government are off limits to foreign investment, whereas there are virtually no limits to Chinese investment in America.”

In China, foreign companies cannot be partial or full owners of telecommunications, natural resources, banking, etc. Where foreign investment is allowed, foreign companies have to be less than a 50 percent owner and partner with a Chinese company.

Locke says there are “some requirements of forced transfer of technology,” and revealing trade secrets to the Chinese government.

“That’s really unfair and really puts American companies at a disadvantage,” Locke said.

He says the U.S. and other countries should cooperate and impose limitations on Chinese investments, at least until there is a more fair playing field.”

Listen to the entire interview here.

Most Popular