China's rapid growth into the world's manufacturing base poses no threat to
the United States which must refocus on higher-end products, U.S. Commerce
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said.
"At a time when China is growing as a manufacturing exporter of low-priced
goods, our unemployment is declining. And our economy is growing and the average
take-home pay per American is increasing," Gutierrez said at a breakfast hosted
by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan on Friday.
"China has built its economy on the basis of manufacturing of commodity-type
"What we have seen in the United States is that our new jobs that are being
created are in the area of higher value manufacturing, differentiation of
products, higher technology, and in many cases new services," he said.
He said the United States needed to keep building its economy looking at
value-added products, high technology and better paying jobs, and for that it
needed to better train its workers.
The remarks by Gutierrez, who visited China before going to Japan, came
despite rising trade friction between Beijing and Washington.
U.S. lawmakers have threatened to slap a 27.5 percent tariff on China's
U.S.-bound exports unless Beijing revalues its currency, although momentum for a
vote has declined after two key senators visited Beijing.
The United States says the yuan is undervalued, giving an unfair advantage to
China and fueling a massive U.S. trade deficit with China that hit a record
US$202 billion last year.
In the latest criticism of Beijing, the United States, joined by the European
Union, initiated a World Trade Organization complaint Thursday alleging that
China is unfairly blocking foreign-made auto parts.
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