Blame costly wars, not China, for poor state of US economy: Jack Ma

Beijing: Ruling out the much-talked about US-China trade war under the Trump presidency, founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma said the poor plight of American economy was due to the costly wars waged by Washington and has nothing to do with trade ties with Beijing.

China and the US will not start a trade war as President Donald Trump is an open-minded person who needs more time, Ma said.

Ma, who has met Trump promising to create a million jobs in the US and market a million American products, said it is wrong to ascribe America’s economic problems to China.

It is the US that is responsible for its sluggish economy, given that $14 trillion was wasted on waging war over the past 30 years rather than investing in infrastructure. China did not steal American jobs, Ma said, adding that the loss of jobs is a strategic mistake on the part of the US, state-run People’s Daily reported today.

The US adopted a strategy to control intellectual property rights and select brands three decades ago, leaving lower-level works to the rest of the world, Ma said.

Besides, multi-national American enterprises like Microsoft and IBM have created hundreds of millions in profits through globalisation.

This large sum could have been invested in infrastructure and employment, but was instead put towards 13 wars, he said.

The US simply failed to allot the funds reasonably, Ma said adding his meeting with Trump was much more productive than expected the discussions mainly focused on the issues of SOEs and China-US trade, especially American enterprises selling in Asia through Alibaba’s platform, which will provide about one million jobs for Americans in various ways.

It is easy to wage a trade war, but hard to end the war – perhaps even impossible. If trade stops, the war will start, Ma predicted noting that trade enables people to exchange both culture and business ideas, while also acting as a deterrent for war.

Sino-US trade volume grew from $2.5 billion in 1979 to $519.6 billion dollars in 2016, surging by 211 times within 38 years.

The trade balance however tilted heavily in favour of China as it exports over $400 billion worth of goods to US.

Amid talks of trade war between the top two economies of the world, China questioned the US ruling to levy heavy duties on several Chinese products days before Trump took over.