President of the European Council Donald Tusk has warned China, Russia and the U.S. against actions that could disrupt the global order and trigger trade wars amid the looming threat of such a war between Washington and its allies in the European Union.
Speaking at the opening on Monday of a summit between China and the European Union in the Chinese capital, Beijing, Tusk said the three countries had a duty to prevent trade wars from happening.
“It is a common duty of Europe and China, America and Russia, not to destroy this order but to improve it; not to start trade wars which turned into hot conflicts so often in our history, but to bravely and responsibly reform the rules-based international order,” Tusk said.
He said that there was still time to prevent conflicts and chaos that have been triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, and threats of new duties on cars.
In an attempt to avert the looming crisis, Tusk proposed reforms to the World Trade Organization (WTO) — the only international organization aimed at ensuring that trade between nations runs smoothly.
He said that the organization needs new rules on forced technology transfers and industry subsidies.
“This is why I am calling on our Chinese hosts but also on the Presidents, Trump and Putin to jointly start this process from the reform of the WTO. There's still time to prevent conflict and chaos,” Tusk said.
“We are all aware of the fact that the architecture of the world is changing before our very eyes and it is our common responsibility to make it a change for the better,” he added.
Several top White House officials said last month that Trump intended to withdraw the United States from the global organization. Trump, himself, however, said that he was “not talking about pulling out.”
“I’m saying they haven’t treated us fairly. We have not been treated fairly,” he said late last month.
Trump also branded the EU, Russia and China as a “foe” of the United States for “what they do to us in trade.” He made the remarks in an interview aired on Sunday by a CBS news program, but said “that doesn’t mean they [EU] are bad.”
Tusk, however, said on Sunday that the union and Washington are best friends, and saying the two sides being foes was “fake news.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also in Beijing, said during a joint press conference with Chinese leaders that China knows how to open its economy and could do so if it wishes.
Playing host to Juncker and Tusk, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also welcomed “improving the WTO on the basis that it maintains its basic principles.”
China has warned the U.S. that it would have no choice but to take “the necessary countermeasures” against Washington after Trump announced two weeks ago that it would slap 10-percent tariffs on an extra 200 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports.
Trump has accused Beijing of intellectual property theft, obstructing U.S. businesses, and being responsible for America’s 375-billion-dollar trade deficit with China.
This article has been adapted from its original source.