China, US air trade differences, sign 14 agreements

Chinese and US officials on Tuesday discussed a range of trade issues and signed 14 agreements, despite differences over China's currency exchange and export policies.

China, US air trade differences, sign 14 agreements
At the start of the formal talks, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi criticized some US politicians for politicizing trade issues and exaggerating the scale of safety problems with China's exports of food, toys and other products.

"Some disharmonious notes have been heard in the Sino-US trade ties this year," Wu said at the opening of the 18th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.

Wu pointed to a "sharp rise" in the number of proposals for congressional legislation "against China."

She also highlighted "evident politicization of economic and trade issues, strengthened control on exports to China and the deliberate exaggeration of China's food and product safety."

Despite the differences, the two sides signed cooperation agreements on Tuesday covering fields including the safety of food and drug exports, tourism, medical equipment, alcohol and tobacco, bio-fuel, agriculture and HIV/AIDS prevention.

They are also scheduled to hold a China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue on Wednesday and Thursday.

US officials are expected to press China again to allow faster appreciation of its renminbi currency against the dollar, arguing that China's suppression of the currency's value is making its exports cheaper and fuelling its huge trade surplus.

Wu thanked visiting US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Trade Representative Susan Schwab for jointly signing a letter that helped to "block protectionist legislation" against China.

"Imposing restrictions on normal trade or resorting to protective measures will be only detrimental to the interests of both sides and helpless in resolving problems," she said.

State media quoted Gutierrez as saying the best way for the United States to address its trade deficit with China was "not by reducing imports."

"Protectionism is something we must avoid together," he was quoted as saying.

The US trade deficit with China, the world's biggest producer of consumer goods, reached a record 233 billion dollars last year and has continued to rise this year.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 16:01