KUALA LUMPUR: The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) has set up a task force in July to monitor and assess the developments of the United States-China trade conflict.
The task force will also focus on formulating strategies to mitigate the trade protectionism impact and act as a focal point for stakeholders to present their views, comments and feedback, the ministry said in a statement today.
“Companies operating in Malaysia are encouraged to reach out to this task force on any challenges they are facing due to the ongoing trade tensions, at firstname.lastname@example.org,” it said.
The US-China trade conflict began on Jan 22, 2018 when the US imposed the global safeguard measures on solar panels and washing machines.
The tensions further escalated when the US invoked Section 232, Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and imposed additional tariffs against aluminium and steel imports on national security grounds.
MITI said the trade conflict was never a beneficial move for any country simply because trade restrictions and retaliatory measures would hurt everyone, especially small countries.
“The conflict has not only affected the US and China but also sparked retaliatory measures by many other aggrieved countries.
“Looking at the upsetting trend, a vicious protectionist cycle will ensue and pose a threat to world trade,” it said.
The ministry said countries should halt the spread of protectionism, and instead be actively engaged in finding amicable solutions and resolving trade issues through multilateral dialogue such as the World Trade Organisation.
“This is to ensure that trade policies can be effective in strengthening the multilateral trading system.
“Hence, the Malaysian government will continue to work with all countries to ensure that protectionism is not the preferred path in any country’s policy formulation,” it said.
New Straits Times
Photo credit: MITI