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No concerns yet U.S.-China standoff will impact tourism

The government does not have any short-term concerns regarding U.S. President Donald Trump’s continued trade war with China, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest told Guardian Business yesterday, adding that The Bahamas has good trade relations with China.

On Sunday, Trump vowed to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China from 15 percent to 25 percent, according to an NPR article, which added that Trump’s pronouncement through Twitter sent global financial markets into a downward spiral.

The NPR article quoted Trump’s post: “The United States has been losing, for many years, 600 to 800 Billion Dollars a year on Trade. With China we lose $500 billion. Sorry, we’re not going to be doing that anymore!”

Turnquest said there is no concern at the moment that Trump’s tariff stand-off with China will affect trade between The Bahamas and either country.

“We have a direct relationship with China that is productive so it should not affect trade,” he said.

“In respect to the impact protracted trade tensions may have in global economic outturns, there is obviously the risk that slowdowns in both economies could affect our source markets negatively. However, at the moment the U.S. economy continues to show good jobs and GDP (gross domestic product) growth, which translates into disposable income, which results in vacation spending that supports our tourism economy.”

NPR said Trump’s threat caused the Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index to drop 5.6 percent yesterday.

Last July, the government said it was paying close attention to the growing trade dispute between the United States and China due to the potential for increased costs to Americans and a subsequent, possible decline in disposable income for travel. But according to Turnquest, those fears have been allayed.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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