US President Donald Trump’s restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei can be likened to “murder”, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council on Tuesday, at CNBC’s Capital Exchange summit.
“If we want to keep it out of our network, it’s easy to do. Let’s just ban them. But putting them on the entity list and prohibiting US companies from dealing with them, it’s more like murder.”
“It’s trying to put an end to them,” said Allen, president of the US-China Business Council that represents about 200 US companies that do business with China.
“If a stranger knocks at your door, you don’t have to let them in, but do you have the right to take a gun and shoot them?”
“We are paying a short-term cost but the long-term cost would be yet greater”, Allen said. “Will China not invest in soybeans in Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine? Of course they will. Not everything is a transaction. We have to consider this over the long term. ... At the end of the day, we have to deal with the Chinese if we want to get there.”
“Trump is using that tool (tariffs) too haphazardly, and in a way he’s not sending clear messages to either business communities or to trading partners,” Lee said at the summit.
Adding that in her opinion, the US President was burning bridges with many trading partners, Lee insisted this would cost the US over the long run.
“If a tariff is used strategically and surgically to address an unfair trade practice, you have this short-term disruption and short-term inconvenience and higher prices along the way, but ultimately in service of addressing a problem.”
“That’s what I don’t see this current administration doing … it’s more like a battle of egos and a battle of wills.
The US administration blacklisted Huawei last month amid the escalated US-China trade war, accusing the tech giant of being sponsored by the Chinese state and spying on its behalf using its devices, thus effectively halting its ability to purchase American-made chips and forcing US firms to cut ties with the company.
Several countries followed suit, with Australia, Japan and New Zealand last year banning the company from participating in government contracts over security concerns.
Huawei has repeatedly rejected the accusations of US intelligence agencies that it installs "backdoor" access to its devices at the behest of the Chinese government to help Beijing spy on users.
The trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies has continued to escalate as both sides have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods. China has threatened to cut off its rare earth mineral supply to the US and reportedly stopped ordering US soybeans.