Trump’s foreign policy continues to make our allies overseas uncomfortable. Now a dire warning about America’s isolationist tendencies has emerged from an unlikely capitalist. China’s second richest man has warned that if trade stops, war ins inevitable.
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Jack Ma is the founder of the Chinese online retailer Alibaba. On a recent visit to Australia, Ma voiced concern about the policies of the Trump administration. “Everybody is concerned about trade wars. If trade stops, war starts,” he said in Melbourne.
Ma was in Australia to celebrate the expansion of Alibaba. The company has now opened a regional headquarters serving Australia and New Zealand.
Ma addressed the concerns many have over the growing role Chinese imports play in American life. He says the Chinese aren’t stealing American jobs, and that isolationist fears are unwarranted.
“But worry doesn’t solve the problem. The only thing you can do is get involved and actively prove that trade helps people to communicate,” he told Business Insider Australia.
“We have to actively prove that trade helps people to communicate. And we should have fair trade, transparent trade, inclusive trade,” Ma said.
“Trade is about a trade of values. Trade of culture,” he noted.
“If Australia, New Zealand and other countries can create a free trade zone in the form of an e-hub for small businesses, they can work like the big companies – with 24 hours clearance, better tariffs, and quicker inspections. That could help a lot of small businesses,” Ma said.
Ma seems to share Trump’s vision for job growth, too. In a visit he had with then-President-Elect Trump, Ma talked of using the expansion of Alibaba to create up to a million jobs here in the U.S.
Trump, though, would appear to stand in the way of Ma’s vision for an American presence for his company. One of Trump’s first acts as President was to officially end American participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Ma was less specific about how any such trade restrictions would result in all-out war, though his vision of working together and cultural cooperation are clear enough.