05:35 GMT +324 October 2018
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    A view shows guests listen while Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech during a welcome banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 14 May 2017

    Trump's Trade War Hurts His Supporters, Average American - Nobel Prize Winner

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    An American Nobel Prize winner has spoken out against US president Donald Trump's global trade war at a Chinese conference on international development. The keynote speaker heavily criticised his country's protectionist stance, stating that trade wars would hurt Americans as much as others.

    2011 Nobel Prize laurate and economist Thomas Sargent addressed the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Forum, part of the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CGTN reported Thursday. 

    "Don't do this to us, they're hurting us," Thomas Sargent said.  

    Sargent also told CGTN that he supported leaders who facilitated global trade rather than those using protectionist measures and slammed President Trump's ongoing trade tariff spat with the Chinese. He also condemned Trump's communication style regarding talks of a closed-door meeting between Chinese and American officials.  

    READ MORE: ‘Enough is Enough': Trump's Tariff War Slammed by New US Industry Coalition 

    Sargent also noted that Trump's trade war will hurt the average American consumer by raising prices for goods. "Tariffs are not steel. There's a lot of pressure in the US for more free trade," Sargent said. 

    Sargent joins a laundry list of officials speaking out against Trump's trade war on the world. A coalition of 60 American industry groups voiced their anger at the US president in September, stating that increased tariffs posed dangers to US businesses. 

    READ MORE: Democratic Lawmakers Oppose Trump’s Tariff Exemptions

    "A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn't go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tariffs) has finally gotten everyone to say: 'Enough is enough,'" Nicole Vasilaros, head lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said. 

    Just hours after President Trump slapped Chinese exports with $200 billion in tariffs, Chinese e-commerce magnate Jack Ma lamented that the US-China trade war could last 20 years or more. 

    "In the short term, business communities in China, the US, and Europe will suffer," Ma said at an investors conference in Hangzhou on Tuesday, adding that the process will take a long time and that there were no quick solutions to the problem. 

    READ MORE: US-China Trade War Could Last 20 Years — Alibaba Founder 

    Despite Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs, trade volumes between China and Belt and Road countries reached $605 billion in the first half of 2018, up 18.8 percent annually. 

    The BRI celebrates its fifth anniversary after Chinese president Xi Jinping proposed the initiative at a speech at Kazakhstan's Nazarbayev University in 2013. The Chinese-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, which finances Belt and Road projects, currently has an expanding portfolio of 87 members, including 44 regional, 24 non-regional, and 19 prospective nations.

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