Bahamas should stay out of China and U.S. trade war, Davis says
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that the government should not thrust The Bahamas into the middle of an ongoing trade war between China and the United States.
“I don’t know why we want to get into big people’s fight,” Davis said.
He added: “The trade war could have adverse consequences on The Bahamas because of the consumptive nature of our economy…
“They are our two largest partners in the context of the investments that China has made in The Bahamas and the fact that most of our goods come from the United States and we depend on the United States for, you know, more than 60 percent of our tourists. We ought not to find ourselves in the middle of that war.”
Davis said The Bahamas’ involvement in Sino-American relations could have “debilitating” effects locally.
While noting that it may be best for Bahamians “to just be spectators,” the opposition leader said the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs should encourage both allies to “quickly come to a resolution of the issues” in a civil manner.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to join the leaders of Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and St. Lucia in a multilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump today in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida.
Earlier this week, in a statement addressing the meeting, the White House Office of the Press Secretary said Trump “looks forward to working” with The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries to “counter China’s predatory economic practices”.
On Wednesday, Haigang Yin, the charge d’affaires of the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, fired back at the United States, accusing it of attempting to “disintegrate solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries”.
“The accusations of predatory economic practices are completely baseless, unreasonable and contradictory to the facts,” he said.
Yin added: “Facing the fabricated lies and irresponsible accusations, we have faith in the people of The Bahamas with whom rests the final judgment. We are confident that the Bahamian people and government will not be misled by others.”
The Bahamas maintains good relationships with both the U.S. and China and hosts embassies for both countries.
While in opposition, Minnis was highly critical of the Christie administration’s reliance on Chinese investment.
During a political firestorm surrounding the Baha Mar resort in 2016, Minnis questioned then Prime Minister Perry Christie’s loyalty to Bahamians after Hong Kong conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited announced that it had entered into negotiations to buy the resort.
He said that the announcement made it more and more clear that Christie was more concerned with “pleasing his Chinese allies”.
A few weeks later, Christie fired back at Minnis, asserting that the then opposition leader was creating “hysteria” over Chinese investment in the country.