There is difference in statistical criteria

(People's Daily Online)
Updated: 2006-12-05 09:55

The American side shuns an issue of a surplus in its service trade to China, and China only receives part of the fees from the products it has processed from its processing trade, and this is the gist of an exclusive interview given by Chen Wenjing, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation with reporters of "People's Daily", a leading newspaper in China.

There was a gap of over 100 billion US dollars in the Sino-US trade surplus last year owing to difference involved in the statistical norms concerning the trade between China and the United States, Chen noted. A bilateral trade surplus will go on increasing this year, according to trade insiders here, and it is expected to reach some 140 billion dollars, and Chen queried what causes so big statistical differences? (The questions and answers of Chen's recent interview are as follows.)

Q. There was a disparity of over 100 billion US dollars in the Sino-US trade surplus least year. In your view, what do you think causes so big a statistical gap?

A. I owe an imbalance in Sino-US trade to factors from many aspects, not only to differences in economics and trade mix and the relevant policies of both sides but to the international division of labor and the transfer of trade deficit derived from the adjustment and transfer of global industrial structures; not only to differences from the angle and statistical methods of both nations, but also to the concepts and approaches adopted by both nations to deal with these problems.

In view of product mix, commodities can be classified mainly into three major categories. The first category is made up of products from the resource of petroleum, the second category is composed of the products that complement the industrial structure of the U.S., including chiefly textiles and light industrial goods with low-technology contents, and the third category comprises capital and technology-intensified products, including mainly automobiles, semi-conductors and computers. Deficits to the first two categories of products are cited as the rational ones, which complement each other, whereas deficit from the third category is a competitive one, which is of concern to the Americans, but still requires concrete analyses.

Q. In what fields is the U.S.' trade surplus in its China trade manifested?

A. Service trade is neglected or overlooked from the deficit statistics in Sino-US trade. The service trade surplus for the American side is not mentioned every time the U.S. speaks of its trade deficit. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has all along maintained a surplus in its service trade to China and with a good momentum recorded in the past dozen years. The American side has kept up asking China to open its markets in the banking and insurance spheres. China is opening up: the US Citibank and insurance firms have come to settle in China and the Renminbi (RMB) business is currently opening to banks from overseas. What is regrettable is that the US side, however, avoids the topic of its trade surplus in its service trade with China but focuses only on its commodity trade with the country.


(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)