You are here: Home » International » News » Economy
Business Standard

Jack Ma's grim warning: US-China trade war may last 20 yrs, hurt everybody

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods, prompting retaliation from Beijing

AP | PTI  |  Geneva 

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group
Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese internet conglomerate Alibaba Group

founder said Tuesday that the trade dispute between the US and China could last 20 years. But he expressed hope that a solution could be reached as a trade war would "hurt everybody." 

The Chinese e-commerce billionaire also questioned the focus among some on trade deficits, calling it a relic of the 20th century. US President Donald Trump has long decried the US's whopping deficit with China.

"When trade stops, sometimes the war starts. So trade is the way to stop wars," Ma said at a World Trade Organization seminar.

"Trade is the way to build up trust. It's not the weapon to fight against each other." He said trade conflict would not only hurt the US and China but other countries' small businesses.

 

The standoff, he added, "may last 20 years, unfortunately." Overall, Ma expressed bullishness about trade but said it needed to be protected from regulators.

"Today we see Made in China, Made in America, Made in Switzerland or Made in Geneva: 2030 will see Made in Internet." More than 85 per cent of business will be e-commerce, he said.

Group is the world's biggest e-commerce company by value of the goods that pass across its platforms.
 

Its core business is connecting American retailers with Chinese suppliers, many of them small producers of furniture, handbags, tools and household appliances. The United States is a key market for them and they have been hit hard by Washington's tariff increases.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods, prompting retaliation from Beijing. 

Ma, 54, is one of China's most prominent and outspoken business leaders.
 

He announced last month he will step down as Alibaba's chairman next September but will stay on as a member of the Partnership, a group that retains control of the company through their right to nominate a majority of its board of directors. 

First Published: Tue, October 02 2018. 19:45 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU