Impatient US pushes China in trade talks

23-05-2007 | |

The Bush administration pushed for concrete results in high-level trade talks with China that began last Tuesday, but the head of the Chinese delegation bluntly warned against confrontation.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said it was important that the two days of
talks produce results to build trust between the two countries. He said
Americans were by nature impatient people, and he said the two sides should work
to build a “roadmap to the future.”

Food safety issue
Sen.
Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and four other senators urged the administration in
a letter to get commitments from the Chinese for cooperation in ongoing
investigations into food safety, saying that the way China handles the issue
currently was unacceptable.

The US delegation raised the issue of food
safety highlighted by such incidents as tainted wheat gluten imported from
China.

Chinese officials sought to assure the Americans that they would
fully investigate any problems uncovered.

Politicizing
economics
Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi cautioned the United States against
pursuing a blame game. “We should not easily blame the other side for our own
domestic problems,” Wu said. “Confrontation does no good at all to
problem-solving.”

Wu, who gained a reputation for tough speaking when she
was China’s top trade negotiator, said that both sides should “firmly oppose
trade protectionism.” She said that any effort to “politicize” the economic
relationship between the two nations would be “absolutely
unacceptable.”

The US have a trade deficit with China that last year hit
$232.5 billion, accounting for one-third of America’s total record deficit of
$765.3 billion.

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