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Chinese steel association slams Trump’s ‘stupid’ protectionism, but trade war viewed as unlikely

中国钢铁企业谴责特朗普“愚蠢的贸易保护主义”,但贸易战可能打不起来



A worker walks through a warehouse at the Han-steel plant in Handan in China's northern Hebei province in April 2016. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

2016年4月河北邯郸汉钢钢铁厂,一位工人走在仓库里。

BEIJING — China’s Iron and Steel Association slammed what it called a “stupid protectionist move” from President Trump to impose import tariffs, but experts said the impact on China would be limited and the government was not about to start a trade war over the issue.

北京——中国钢铁巨头谴责特朗普推动对中国钢铁增收进口关税的行为是“愚蠢的贸易保护主义”,但专家表示此举对中国影响甚微,两国政府也不会就此打响贸易战。

China is the world’s dominant steel producer but only accounts for 2 percent of U.S. imports. Trump’s decision to slap 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, and 10 percent on aluminum, won’t have a big impact here, experts said, although it certainly wasn’t welcomed.

中国是世界最大的钢铁生产国,但中国钢铁只占到美国进口总额的百分之二。但专家表示特朗普决定对中国钢铁征收25%的进口关税,对铝征收10%的关税的行为尽管不会受到中国欢迎,但也不会有太大影响。

The China Iron and Steel Association was quoted by  Chinese media as calling the decision “stupid,” but the group’s vice secretary general, Li Xinchuang, said the impact on China would not be big.
“Nothing can be done about Trump,” he told Reuters. “We are already numb to him.”

据中国媒体消息,中国钢铁巨头称此举非常愚蠢,但该组织副秘书长李新创称对中国的影响不会很大。

Asia stock markets followed their U.S. counterparts lower on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei-225 index down more than 2.25 percent in late morning trade, and South Korea’s KOSPI index down nearly 1 percent, with steel makers in both countries among the hardest hit.

周五亚洲股票市场追随美股持续下跌,今早早盘交易日经指数下跌225点,降幅达到2.25%。韩国综合股价指数下跌将近1%,两国钢铁企业遭受了致命一击。
By contrast, Shanghai’s main share index was only 0.3 percent lower.
Wei Jianguo, a former Chinese vice commerce minister, said Trump’s announcement ran counter to World Trade Organization rules and hurt Sino-U.S. relations.

与此形成鲜明对比的是,上海证券指数仅下跌了0.3%。中国前商务部长魏建国表示特朗普此举违反世贸组织规定,也将损害中美关系。

“China does not want to see a trade war with the United States. But if Trump insists, China is not afraid of it,” Wei said.
“China will actively protect its own trade interests,” he said, pointing out that China imports a huge amount of U.S. goods, including Boeing planes, agricultural products and IT products.

“中国不想和美国打贸易战。但如果特朗普一意孤行,中国也不害怕。”魏建国表示。
“中国将积极维护自身贸易权益,”他称,指出中国进口了包括波音客机,农产品以及IT产品在内的很多美国商品。

A glut of steel from China has fueled global oversupply, but Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank in Shanghai, said China had already been working to cut overcapacity in its steel industry, so Trump’s decision came too late to have much of an effect. China’s steel exports fell 30 percent last year.

来自中国的过剩钢铁产能冲击了全球钢铁市场,但上海工商银行首席经济学家陆正伟称中国已经在努力削减过剩产能,特朗普的决定既过时又无用。去年中国钢铁出口额已经减少了30%。

Nevertheless, China is also not insensitive to the symbolism of the move, is aware that Trump’s rhetoric has targeted China and is wary of further trade measures, experts said.

不过专家们表示,中国对此举的象征意义并不是不敏感,意识到特朗普正在针对中国,对两国进一步的贸易交流持谨慎态度。

“China has to respond and fight for every inch of its own interests, otherwise, it will find it hard to handle more trade adjustments from the U.S. side,” Lu said. “Of course China is able to take revenge, however the result we are expecting is negotiation between both sides.”

“中国必须做出反应并为自身每一分利益斗争,否则与美国会有更多贸易摩擦,”陆表示:“当然中国也会做出反击,但我们还是希望两国能够协商解决问题。”

In a statement issued Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry expressed “grave concern” about a U.S. trade policy report that accused Beijing of moving away from market principles and pledged to prevent it from disrupting global trade. But there was no immediate response to the decision on tariffs.

在周四发表的一份声明中,中国商务部表达了对美国贸易政策报告的“严重关切”,该报告指责中国政府偏离市场原则,声称将阻止中国扰乱全球贸易。但中国并没有对关税问题作出回应。

Andrew Polk, a founder of the Trivium consultancy  in Beijing, said Trump’s decision would not have much of an effect on China’s economy, and predicted China’s reaction would be more rhetorical than real.

经济学家卜安德波尔克,北京三艺咨询公司创始人称特朗普此举对中国经济无关痛痒,预计中国对此也只会做出口头回应不会有实际行动。

“I don’t think this is the start of a trade war,” he said, predicting a similar reaction to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on solar panels, effectively saying: “We don’t like this, but we’re going to downplay it and not really do anything.”

“我不认为这将开启一场贸易战”,他称,预计中国对此反应会和特朗普对中国产太阳能电池板征收关税一样,坦率地说:“我们不喜欢这种事,但我们不在意也不回应。”

Rob Carnell, head of Asia-Pacific research at ING in Singapore, said China might join, or hide behind, other nations and trading blocs, such as Canada, the European Union, Japan and South Korea, in retaliating to the U.S. move.

罗布•卡内尔,荷兰国际集团驻新加坡亚太研究所所长,表示中国可能会拉拢或在幕后利用如加拿大,欧盟,日本货韩国等美国贸易伙伴进行报复

“If the European Union and Canada start to work through the WTO, they will be waiting a long time for a resolution, so we are more likely to see tit-for-tat retaliation,” he said.

“如果欧盟和加拿大在世贸组织框架进行申诉,他们也许会浪费很多时间,所以我们很可能看到以牙还牙以眼还眼的报复。”他称。

That would not be good news for the global economy, he said.

这对世界经济不是个好消息,他称。

Trump’s announcement came as one of President Xi Jinping’s right-hand men, Liu He, was in Washington trying to calm trade tensions.

特朗普发表声明之际,中国国家主席的得力助手刘贺正在华盛顿试图缓和两国贸易紧张局势。

Tao Wenzhao, former director of the U.S.-China Institute at the China Academy of Social Sciences, said the overall climate in relations between the two countries has not been great recently.

陶文钊,中国社会科学院中国研究所前主任表示,最近两国关系总体上不太好。

“Still I wouldn’t say this is the starting point of a U.S.-China trade war,” he said. “China wishes to defuse the tensions that are present between the two countries through communication, as seen by the visit by Liu He.”

“但我还是要说这并不代表着两国将打贸易战,”他称:“中国希望通过沟通缓解两国紧张局势,刘贺的到访就是个例子。”

Shen Dingli, vice dean of the Insitute of International Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai, said China had benefited from years of subsidizing state-owned industries and could not really complain if the United States investigated those practices. In the end, he said, China would “definitely give in.”

上海复旦大学国际事务研究所副院长沈丁立表示,中国受益于多年来对国有企业的补贴,如果美国对这些做法进行调查,中国也不会有什么怨言。他说,最终中国肯定会退让。