US urged to get tough with China over currency practices
U.S. steel and textile producers urged the Obama administration to get tough with China over its currency practices.
U.S. steel and textile producers on Friday urged the Obama administration to get tough with China over its currency practices, while other groups said Beijing was dragging its feet on promised trade reforms.
"The U.S. government should cite China as a currency manipulator and should support legislation that allows U.S. industry to defend itself and its workers against this predatory practice," said Cass Johnson, president of the National Council of Textile Organization.
He made the remarks at an Obama administration hearing chaired by the U.S. Trade Representative's office to examine how well China is complying with the market-opening commitments it made when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Obama disappointed manufacturing and labor groups in April when he decided against labeling China a currency manipulator, after indicating during last year's campaign that he would take that step.
The groups complain China deliberately undervalues its currency, giving it an unfair price advantage in trade.
The U.S. Treasury Department will have its second chance to rule on the issue on Oct. 15, when the semi-annual report on the exchange rate practices of major U.S. trading partners once again comes due.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Washington should steer clear of any action on Chinese currency that violates WTO rules or invites Chinese retaliation.
Waterman also expressed concern that there "are growing indications that China's movement toward a market economy has stalled," but said Washington and Beijing need to do more to fight protectionist impulses at home.
Robert Vastine, president of the Coalition of Service Industries, said China has yet to implement many of its WTO obligations in areas ranging from insurance to express delivery, and its passage of a postal law that discriminates against U.S. businesses is "particularly troubling."
There also is "ample evidence of China's continuing failure to comply with its IPR (intellectual property rights) and market access commitments in the WTO," Michael Schlesinger said on behalf of the International Intellectual Property Alliance.
Reuters Last Mod: 03 Ekim 2009, 14:07