Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade friction could last 20 years

Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade friction could last 20 years

"Even if Donald Trump 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.

The trade war between the US and China could go on for 20 more years, outlasting Donald Trump's presidency, e-commerce giant Alibaba's founder and billionaire Jack Ma warned Tuesday. "The current situation has already destroyed the original premise".

Ma said a lot of businesses in China and the U.S. will be in trouble in the short term, and eventually, Chinese firms will be forced to turn to other countries, CNN reported.

"This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S.co-operation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade", Ma told Xinhua on Wednesday.

For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of US small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces, but many experts have criticized his plan.

Alibaba is no exception and would suffer from the effects of the trade war, however the crisis would also present new opportunities for the company to capitalize, Ma said. "There is no way to deliver the promise".

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One million jobs would be close to 1 per cent of all jobs in the U.S. - meaning that successfully delivering on the pledge would make Alibaba one of the country's largest private employers.

"Middle term, a lot of Chinese business will move to other countries", he warned.

Monday evening, President Donald Trump ordered the US Trade Representative to impose tariffs of 10% on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China said it will impose retaliatory tariffs against $60 billion of USA goods, ranging from meat to wheat and textiles.

Some experts said Ma's plan to bring 1 million jobs to the USA might have been overly ambitious in the first place. Citing weak trade rules, he further added that it would be "a mess" for all parties involved and is likely to go on for "maybe 20 years", according to Reuters.

"We should work more in Africa, SEA (South East Asia), Europe", he said.

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