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China, US economic relations to be reviewed in Hu-Bush meeting

By Staff
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Washington, Apr 20 (UNI) Economic relations between China and the United States will form an important agenda of todays's meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President George W Bush at the White House.

''The US and China are each large and dynamic trading nations and share a common interest in an open trading system unhindered by artificial barriers and restrictions,'' a fact sheet released yesterday by the Department of State said.

''Completing the transition to a market-based, open economy is vital for China's continued economic growth, and for assuming a role as a responsible stakeholder into the world economy,'' it added.

American exports to China have more than doubled since China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001. In 2005, the total exports were 41.8 billion dollar, up by 20 per cent over 2004, it added.

''Exports by American farmers have increased dramatically. China is our fourth largest market for US farm exports (after Canada, Japan, and Mexico). However, during 2001-2005, US imports from China have increased from 102 billion dollars to 243.5 billion dollar,'' the statement said.

China is the third-largest merchandise-trading nation in the world. Its global trade surplus in the year 2005 exceeded 100 billion dollar. In 2005, the United States took about 23 per cent of China's exports and ran a trade deficit with China of 201.6 billion dollar.

Stating this as the largest bilateral trade deficit worldwide, the release said, the deficit is due to a number of factors.

First, even as the US deficit with China has grown, its overall deficit with Asia has remained roughly the same for the past decade.

East Asian economies that once shipped directly to the US now do substantial processing and final assembly in China. Thus, the US-China 'bilateral' trade deficit is more accurately a trade deficit with East Asia, it said.

The strong US demand for Chinese goods and continued restrictions on US access to some sectors of China's market were adjudged by the release as the second and third reasons respectively.

US policy has to further open China's markets to US firms, and to encourage the country to correct imbalances within its system, it added.

The United States also hosted the 2006 meeting of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi, and the US Secretary of Commerce and US Trade Representative on April ii, nine days before the Chinese President's visit.

In conjunction with the JCCT meeting, the Chinese purchased 16.2 billion dollars of American goods. The notable items were 80 Boeing aircraft worth 4.6 billion dollars, up to 1.5 billion dollars worth of soya beans and soya oil and 1.7 billion dollars of computer software.

China also made a number of commitments to help US business, farmers and workers, resume US beef imports, promote greater transparency and rule of law by publishing all trade-related measures in one official journal and start a dialogue on its steel industry.

UNI XC CS HS1237

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