California business leaders oppose U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports

Updated 2018-03-26 11:08:03 Xinhua

A delegation of United States and Chinese emissaries, government officials, and business leaders opposed Trump's decision to levy tariffs against China on a special cooperative trade event held Friday in California.

Attendees were buzzing over new tariffs, and were concerned about the impact they would have on future U.S.-China trade relations and the U.S. economy.

"China is California's Number One trading partner and a trade war hurts everyone," Brian Peck, chair of Los Angeles Regional Export Council, told Xinhua, adding that "cooler heads will prevail before it goes into effect."

"This isn't the right way to redress a trade imbalance," Awinash Bawle, deputy director of International Affairs and Business Development for California Governor Brown's office, said, "There are too many unpredictable consequences."

"We host hundreds of Chinese exchange students every year so our local students can experience a deeper, international cultural exchange," Howard Evans, dean of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona told Xinhua, "And this could have grave consequences for our international programs."

The event, co-hosted by State and local authorities, was held to introduce the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is to be held in Shanghai on Nov. 5-10 this year.

Gary Toebben, president and CEO of Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, told Xinhua that the chamber's work to promote positive trade relations between the United States and China is "so important in light of recent concerning announcements."

Zhang Ping, China's consul general in Los Angeles, and Xiadiya Abulahaiti, deputy director general of China's Ministry of Commerce to California, also attended the event.

"The actions taken by the U.S. side serves nobody's interests," Zhang said, adding that the tariffs "will directly hurt the U.S. consumers, companies and financial markets, and will also jeopardize the international trade order and world economic stability."

Abulahaiti introduced the CIIE to the attendees, and said China welcomes business leaders to attend the expo to promote their goods and services to over 150,000 buyers from China and around the world.

The decision to host the expo is an important measure China has taken to push economic globalization and support multilateral trade, said Roberto Azevedo, director-general of the World Trade Organization in an earlier press briefing.

Zhang closed the proceedings on a positive note, saying "to maintain a stable and healthy China-U.S. relationship is in the interest of both our countries ... and the world at large."

"We hope that a concerted effort will be made by people from all walks of life who care about this relationship to ensure that China-U.S. economic and trade relations stay on the right track," he added.

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