As was widely expected, China and South Korea did not wait long to react to the ‘America First’ tariffs the Trump administration announced today, with many foreseeing it will become a main point of discussion during the World Economic Forum in Davos which the US President will be attending later this week.
After the US government announced the punitive tariffs for Asian dishwashers and solar panels, which could mount up to 50% in some cases, China’s commerce ministry released a statement in response: “The US side once again abused its trade remedy measures.”
“China expresses its strong dissatisfaction with this.”
“China hopes the United States will exercise restraint in using trade restrictions and compliance with multilateral trade rules and will play a positive role in promoting the world economy.”
Meanwhile, South Korea's trade minister Kim Hyun Chong, who knows that these measures will hurt LG and Samsung, stated that "the United States has opted for measures that put political considerations ahead of international standards."
"The government will actively respond to the spread of protectionist measures to defend national interests,"
In Davos itself, where the first day of the World Economic Forum got underway, the US’s America First tariffs were the main point of discussion already, as Indian Prime Minister Modi reacted during his opening keynote address by stating that ‘protectionism’ was not the way forward: “Forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization. They want to reverse its flow.”
US Economy Professor and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz also chimed in on the issue, saying: “It’s bad for the global environment, it’s bad for the American economy, it’s bad for jobs in the United States.”
“You can’t build the world that we had in 1950, 1960, that’s not going to come back. So what we have to do is find new industries, like installing solar panels. And what are we doing? We’re making it more difficult to install solar panels.”