It is a real concern that in recent months, we have seen the spectre of protectionism on the rise. The protectionist measures started when the US initiated investigations in 2017 under the auspices of its Trade Act of 1974 and Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The US-China trade conflict began on 22 January 2018 when the US imposed the global safeguard measures on solar panels and washing machines. Tension further escalated when the US invoked section 232, Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and imposed additional tariffs against aluminium and steel imports on national security grounds.
Trade conflict is never a beneficial move for any country simply because trade restrictions and retaliatory measures would hurt everyone, especially to small countries. The conflict has not only affected the US and China but also sparked retaliatory measures by many other aggrieved countries. Among the examples are safeguard investigations launched by European Union (EU) in March 2018 on 23 iron and steel products and followed by Turkey against numerous iron and steel products in May 2018. It does not stop there as Canada too is considering both quotas and tariffs to stop a spike in imports of foreign steel being diverted from the US. Looking at this upsetting trend, a vicious protectionist cycle will ensue and poses a threat to world trade.
Countries should halt the spread of protectionism and instead be actively engaged in finding potential solutions so that trade policy can be effective in strengthening the multilateral trading system.
With a view to monitor and coordinate the feedback from various stakeholders against the backdrop of escalating US-China’s trade conflict, MITI has established a task force in July 2018. The objectives of the taskforce are:
to monitor and address the developments of the US-China trade conflict and also reactions from other countries;
to coordinate inputs, as well as prepare and provide Malaysia’s feedback on issues and concerns arising from these developments;
to assess the impact of such developments on Malaysia and formulate strategies to mitigate the impact of trade protectionism especially for affected local industries; and
to act as a focal point for stakeholders in presenting their views, comments, and feedback.
MITI invites all stakeholders to submit your views, comments, and feedback to the Task force of US-China Trade Conflict via e-mail: email@example.com.
17 July 2018
Last Updated 2018-07-19 16:28:12 by Azuna Hasbullah atau Abd Rahman