According to Jack Ma Executive Chairman of online wholesaler/retailer Alibaba there is no chance of a trade war breaking out between the two nations. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he intimated that President elect Donald Trump would come to his senses over the relationship between the two countries.
Ma had previously met with Trump to discuss American businesses that were due to join his firm. These businesses would be trading with China, and Ma is keen to suggest that a trade relationship between the two countries is mutually beneficial.
During his speech to fellow leaders in the business and political world’s Ma went on to discuss probably his biggest competitor the giant that is Amazon. He claimed that Amazon was run like an empire, with everything run from within. Whereas he describes his company as an ecosystem that allows other businesses to trade. Indeed this ecosystem has been highly lucrative, it has allowed Chinese sellers to deal directly with their most profitable markets in the west.
Ma’s meeting with Trump is vital. Chinese business leaders haven’t exactly met Trump’s comments about them with joy. But Ma is cut from a different cloth, and understands very well that a good relationship with Trump could benefit China, and more specifically his business. Trump has been highly critical of Chinese business practices since he first announced that he would run for President, often quoting that he intended to tax imports from China. Though it isn’t exactly clear how this would work. Chinese imports are part of the backbone of American purchases. Many American companies such as Apple make their products in the company and export to America as it is significantly cheaper to do so. It is unlikely that any hike in importation tarriffs would help change this situation, as the saving is so stark that surely the companies would still operate from there. It would also likely raise prices in the US, something the President would be sure to try and avoid.
Ma’s influence will hopefully be a good one on the President elect. China’s trade with America is mutually beneficial and it is hoped that the meeting may have changed Trump’s mind on the subject, but only time will tell if Trump climbs down on the powerful rhetoric which helped propel him to the White House.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.