Categorized | China, Currency

China lambasts U.S. trade bill, won’t adjust yuan


Reposted from Made In USA News


China lambasts U.S. trade bill, won’t adjust yuan

Zhou Xin  |  March 7, 2012  |  Made in USA News

BEIJING (Reuters) – A U.S. trade bill targeting Chinese imports goes against international rules and Beijing will not adjust the value of its currency to try to bridge a trade deficit that is Washington’s problem to fix, China’s commerce minister said on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill into law to allow duties to be imposed on subsidized goods from China and Vietnam, which the White House says will protect American jobs.

“We follow the rules of the WTO, but we have no obligation to follow domestic laws or regulations in any specific country that go beyond international rules,” Commerce Minister Chen Deming told a news conference on the sidelines of an annual meeting of parliament.


He said China had done a better job of bringing balance to global trade than the United States, bringing its trade surplus down to 2.1 percent of economic output in 2011 while the trade deficit of the United States was 4.8 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

Chen said it was clear that the United States had a responsibility to close its own deficit.

“Why did the U.S. have a $700 billion overall trade deficit? Why did China have an overall trade surplus of only $150 billion but a trade surplus of $200 billion with the United States?” Chen responded rhetorically to a journalist’s question.

“Every man, free from prejudice and armed with common sense economics can come to the right conclusion,” Chen said.

Chen’s comments come a day after the U.S. Congress passed the bill that Obama is set to sign into law. A U.S. court ruled in December that the U.S. Commerce Department did not have authority to impose countervailing — or anti-subsidy — duties on goods from “non-market economies.”

U.S. imports from China were a record $399.3 billion in 2011. Washington said the U.S. deficit with China reached a record $295 billion, but China’s data showed only a $202 billion surplus. China says the difference is caused by U.S. statistical methodology which includes part of Hong Kong’s trade data in the calculations.

China’s total trade surplus shrank 15 percent in 2011 versus 2010 to $155 billion, largely as a result of stalling demand in its two biggest markets with the European Union hobbled by a debt crisis and U.S. consumer spending below par.

China has pledged to balance the trade account and wants to ramp up imports to support an expansion of the domestic economy and drive consumer demand.

Chen said Chinese exports increased by an estimated 7 percent in the first two months of this year from year-ago levels, while import growth was likely above 7 percent.

The government’s 2012 target is 10 percent growth in both imports and exports. Chen said “trade growth in the second half would be faster than the first half” of the year.

The consensus view of a Reuters poll is that China’s annual export and import growth enjoyed a sharp rebound in February from a year earlier, primarily on seasonal factors.


Chen said U.S. criticism of China was unfounded.

“The U.S. government had subsidized its companies, like the three big automakers … but China did not criticize these moves or start massive countervailing actions against such moves,” Chen said.

Chen added that China’s yuan exchange rate was now close to its fair value, and China had no intention to let the yuan appreciate sharply.

Asked about a World Trade Organization (WTO) Working Group on Trade, Debt and Finance meeting that would discuss the relationship between exchange rates and trade, Chen said the yuan should not be what he called an “academic discussion.”

“I have noticed that the U.S. trade representative and treasury secretary have noted to the Congress that they would use the meeting, as well as other events, to push forward yuan reform,” Chen said.

“When I heard about this, I thought I heard wrong. They should push the U.S. dollar reform since the U.S. trade deficit is about 4.8 percent (of GDP),” he said.

“China believes all countries should maintain the basic stability of their exchange rates, against the background of global financial crisis,” he said. “Any country’s measures to devalue its own currencies or force other countries’ currencies to appreciate is not appropriate,” Chen said.

China’s growing manufacturing strength has been coupled with a rising trade surplus that has exacerbated friction with the United States and other trading partners.

The Obama administration recently announced an Interagency Trade Enforcement Unit that will police compliance with trade rules by America’s trading partners, including China.

Chen said China was willing to talk to the body.


9 Responses to “China lambasts U.S. trade bill, won’t adjust yuan”

  1. Bruce Bishop says:

    In the United States, prices for a Detroit-made Jeep Grand Cherokee start at $27,490. But in China, after tariffs and other protective fees, it sells for $85,000 or more. (It’s no surprise that Chrysler has sold fewer than 2,500 of them so far this year in China.) Source: New York Times Global Business, 12/09/11

    Communist China is a criminal enterprise that is cheating us in every conceivable way. They are stealing our jobs, our manufacturing base, our tax base, our technology and our intellectual property. We, on the other hand, can only blather on about currency manipulation, against which we are apparently helpless.

    Just like our president, China will say whatever they have to say to buy a little more time. They have a national manufacturing strategy. We do not. They are winning the future. The future we face is grim.

    • Tom T says:

      This explanation by the Chinese leader with a few people on the inside of this country pulling for their self interests buying politicians will suffice for our sorry government.

      I say don’t ask the Chinese to adjust the yuan. Use the power of the government to adjust it at the border and don’t ask them any more nicey requests. That is pretty much how they do it and it has been more than successful for them.

      Tom T.

    • American says:

      Bruce I love the fact that your both passionate and correct!

  2. American says:

    Trade war imminent and that’s a good thing. Better now than later.

  3. Rob L says:

    The Chinese economic miracle could not have happened with out widely open markets to their products. Given their massive merchandise trade surpluses its time for them to show global leadership. Step one would be to unilaterally eliminate all import duties on each and every manufactured product brought into the country. They keep the value of their currency artificially low to encourage exports and hamper imports, they have the lowest wage levels of any industrialized nation and have the most lax environment and labor standards as well. As one step toward taking its place as a major player in the global trade arena, becoming a giver instead of just taking advantage of other trading nation’s openness, China removing all import tariffs would be good for them and the rest of the world as well.

  4. Shawn says:

    Comment deleted by order of Central Propaganda Department. Refer all inquires to law firm of Patton-Boggs.

  5. Reds Laboop says:

    I love Chinese food and am having some for dinner tonight, but it will be sitting on my dining room table that was made in North Carolina. I will pick the food up driving my Ford that was made in America. For desert I will have good old American apple pie.

    Note: The Chinese food was cooked by a Mexican and it was very good.

    • Tom T says:

      Thanks, Red, for your comment. You epitomize the problem in the United States. I love Chinese food too but I sure don’t like the results of our economy being sold to the Chinese through non enforcement of trade laws, a manipulated currency, and many other trade barriers just so you can enjoy goods from around the world Your Chinese food was more than likely all produced in the U.S. anyway so it isn’t the problem we are discussing of international trade imbalances and what it does to the economy.

      Thank you for expressing the free trader’s best argument, however shallow it might be. This isn’t about xenophobia or lack of cultural appreciation. It is about whether or not the people and politicians in the United States are duped into selling the goose that laid the golden egg and from then on just buying the eggs instead of producing them at home and the economic activity it generates. It is whether or not we as a nation decide to sell the milk cow and buying all the milk from a country that is diametrically opposed to freedom and the benefits of fair trade.

      Tom T.


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