Bumpy ride for Sino-US trade

Updated: 2013-06-05 08:02

By Feng Lei (China Daily)

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The development of Sino-US trade is a mutually beneficial arrangement, because the world's two largest economies are highly complementary with their trade volume growing to $484.7 billion in 2012.

Sino-US trade relations have to be developed to tap potential bilateral economic opportunities and enable more reasonable allocation of resources for the two countries. Quality and inexpensive products exported by China have benefited American consumers and helped create the necessary conditions for the United States' transformation into a service-oriented economy. Conversely, China has benefited immensely from the growing demand for its products from American consumers.

Of course, the burgeoning trade between the two economic giants has led to some imbalance and frictions. But they are the natural offshoots of increasing Sino-US trade. According to official US figures, its trade deficit with China has increased to $315 billion. This enormous trade deficit, however, can be attributed to a variety of factors.

For example, the products that US-funded enterprises and other overseas-funded enterprises in China export to the American market replace part of their original trade with the US. The US' trade deficit with China has been largely exaggerated by Washington partly because of its policies toward Beijing and the faulty statistical methods it follows. The US still continues to impose a ban on the export of high-tech products to China, ignoring the complementarity of the two economies. This creates hurdles for establishing a truly win-win trade relationship between the two sides by creating an artificial trade imbalance.

Besides, the US is prone to dealing with trade frictions unilaterally. It has launched dozens of investigations against Chinese enterprises for what it calls dumping and flouting of subsidy norms. In recent years, the US has conducted Section 337 investigations against Chinese products. Section 337 investigations launched by the US International Trade Commission often involve claims regarding intellectual property rights, including allegations of patent and trademark infringements by imported goods, and threat to US national security.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce says that by April 2012, Washington had taken "remedial measures" against 114 categories of Chinese products. And the ministry's repeated calls to the US to abide by its promise of maintaining a free and open international trade environment and vow to eschew trade protectionism have borne little fruit.

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