Alibaba’s Jack Ma Thinks the US-China Trade War Could Last 20 Years

The trade war between the United States and China has shown no signs of slowing down — and according to one of the world’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, it might even go on long after President Donald Trump has left office.

During an annual investor conference at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. founder Jack Ma warned business and political leaders that the trade war could last “maybe 20 years.”

“It’s going to last long; it’s going to be a mess,” he said on Tuesday.

The tech tycoon’s remarks come shortly after the Trump administration issued a new round of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, which go into effect on Sept. 24, that will start at a rate of 10 percent and rise to 25 percent at year’s end. Trump also threatened yesterday to slap levies on an additional $267 billion of goods — nearly half of all of China’s imports into the U.S.

Pointing to the trade friction between the U.S. and Japan in the 1980s, Ma ruminated that Trump’s decision to zero in on China has been triggered by the latter’s strong economic growth. He also added that Chinese companies would respond by moving production to other countries to get around the tariffs.

“Short term, business communities in China, U.S., Europe will all be in trouble,” Ma said, as reported by Bloomberg. “This thing will last long. If you want a short-term solution, there is no solution.”

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