Bahamas will not take sides in U.S.-China trade war, Henfield says
The Bahamas will not take sides in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday.
“The Bahamas has been a longtime historical and traditional partner with the United States of America,” he said outside Cabinet.
“Bahamians feel an absolute right to be able to go to America on a daily basis, to be able to interact with Americans…
“And since 1992, I think it was, The Bahamas recognized China’s One-China policy.
“We are friends with both nations. We are friends with both China and the United States of America.
“A large platform of our economy comes from foreign direct investment, and we consider foreign direct investment anywhere it comes from in the world. If it is good for The Bahamas, we would look at it seriously and consider whether or not we accept it.”
Last week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier accused China of enabling corruption, eroding good governance and stealing countries’ sovereignty and natural resources.
But Haigang Yin, the spokesman for the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, called on the U.S. government to contribute more to Caribbean and Latin American countries rather than “indiscriminately pinning labels on others” and “politicizing the economic and trade issues”.
Henfield said tensions between the two countries could be harmful to the Bahamian economy, and he hopes the issues will soon be resolved.
“The Bahamas government would like to see any trade issues between the two largest economies in the world settled as quickly as possible because it doesn’t bode well for the economic situation anywhere in the world,” he said.
“Invariably, it will impact negatively upon The Bahamas, as I understand some reports indicating it’s impacting negatively upon those two countries at the moment.”
In March, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis met with U.S. President Donald Trump.
In the lead-up to the meeting, the White House Office of the Press Secretary said Trump looked forward to working with The Bahamas and other Caribbean countries to “counter China’s predatory economic practices”.
However, Minnis dismissed concerns that the United States was pressuring The Bahamas to change its relationship with China.
The U.S. and China are engaged in an ongoing trade war.
Trump has long complained about China’s trading policies.
The U.S. imposed new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods and most recently restricted American companies from selling components and technology to Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant.
The U.S. said the company, which manufactures smartphones, is a national security threat.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish