Alibaba chief warns US-Chinese tensions could last for decades

Alibaba chief warns US-Chinese tensions could last for decades

Jack Ma, head of the Chinese internet retail juggernaut Alibaba, on Tuesday said that worsening trade relations between the U.S. and China could last 20 years and would help neither party.

Ma was speaking at an Alibaba investor conference as the White House announced tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, sparking warnings from Beijing of retaliation.


Ma said the trade war would spur Chinese companies to move to other countries to get around the tariffs, according to Reuters.

The latest round of tariffs will be set on a wide variety of goods, such as fish, vegetables, nuts, grains, orange juice and metals including titanium and uranium. They are expected to go into effect on Sept. 24 and begin at 10 percent, before increasing to 25 percent at the end of the year.

Trump has vowed to implement another round of tariffs on $267 billion in Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates against this round.

However, Ma said tense relations surrounding trade will continue between the Beijing and Washington after Trump leaves office.

“Even if Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns MORE retired, the new president will come, it will still continue ... We need new trade rules, we need to upgrade the WTO,” he said, referring to the World Trade Organization.

However, it is unclear what trade rules he would seek.

Attitudes toward trade in the U.S. have been upended by opposition to deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) from pockets of both the Democratic and Republican Parties. Trump has already removed the U.S. from TPP, which established trade relations with countries in East Asia as a bulwark against China’s rise, and has reached a revised NAFTA deal with Mexico and threatened to cut out Canada.