NICOSIA, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The approach of imposing additional taxes that violates established rules of commerce could lead international trade into upheaval, a Cypriot trade expert said on Monday.
Marios Tsakkis, the Secretary-General of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry which represents traders and industrialists, said in an interview with Xinhua that additional actions outside international or interstate agreements can prove counter-productive for all parties.
Tsiakkis was commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump signing a memorandum that could lead to tariffs on imports from China worth up to 60 billion U.S. dollars.
The action is additional to plans by Trump to impose additional taxes on steel and aluminum imports and the levies imposed in January on imported solar panels and washing machines.
"This move poses a real threat to global commerce, as it leads trade in the wrong direction and could provoke a trade war and complicate international trade," said Tsiakkis.
He added that protectionism and unilateralism could prove counter-productive, as they hurt the ability of businesses to adapt to competition and to become competitive though innovation.
"At the same time, protectionism reduces the right of consumers to have more options in buying goods," Tsiakkis noted.
He also shared the view that imposing tariffs to protect national business or employment may be actually hurtful to both.
Tsiakkis said that usually there are more people who make their living by either trading in or by working in manufacturing using imported materials than people actually working in the production of the protected goods.
"Unilateralism and protectionism is a simplistic view of offering protection to national sections of business," the trade expert said.
Tsiakkis further noted that countries hurt by the measures may react and take counter-measures with a view of either retaliating or protecting their own businesses.
"In either case, international trade relations stand to lose," Tsiakkis said.
He stated that trade differences should be settled through talking and negotiating and not by actions that could escalate the situation.