Global company execs warn of negative effects if US-China trade issue not fully resolved

EYEAFRICA TV: Davos, Switzerland: The measures employed by the U.S. in its long-running trade dispute with China have proven harmful to trade, businesses and customers and could hold back the development of many industries around the globe if not fully resolved, according to participants at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Switzerland’s Davos.

The four-day WEF, which will conclude on Friday, has gathered nearly 3,000 world leaders, chief executives, and civil society representatives from 117 countries to discuss some of the major economic and societal challenges facing the world today.

Among the attendees was Jesper Brodin, CEO of Swedish furniture and home accessories giant IKEA. He said history has proven that unilateralist policies result in citizens and customers ultimately paying the price in the end.

In an interview with the China Global Television Network (CGTN) on the sideline of the Davos event, Brodin noted that by repeatedly using tariffs as a bargaining chip during the height of the China-U.S. trade war, the U.S. has severely interfered with social order in a number of aspects.

“I would say that any company working cross-border would be a bit afraid of those tendencies, because typically if you take, for example, tariffs, or those measures, history shows that normally the consequences are [that] customers have to pay more at the end of the day, while collaboration normally promotes free trade, promotes spreading of jobs, spreading of knowledge learning, creating efficiencies of things,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zhang Yichen, CEO of China’s CITIC Capital group, pointed out that China will not compromise on issues when faced with the threats and pressures of U.S. unilateralism, which he warns is a move that in turn only hurts the U.S.’ own interests.

“I think certain steps that were taken by the U.S. side, for example putting Huawei on the banned entity list, that has already started the decoupling in the technology field that I think once started is difficult to reverse. From that perspective, I am saying China will not lose and China certainly will not win because it’s a lose-lose situation for both sides. But if the U.S. feels its a zero-sum game by imposing these measures [that are] completely uncalled for and can somehow force China to succumb to the pressure, I think that’s a miscalculation,” said Zhang.

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