CHINA / National

US official upbeat on China trade ties
By Xiao Chen (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-22 05:55

Those, according to Bhatia, need to be addressed through such means as WTO dispute settlement proceedings. He refused to name specific issues in which the United States thinks it has a strong case at the global trade body.

Bhatia dismissed worries that a more vigorous enforcement effort would upset the bilateral relationship, or even lead to a trade war.

"My answer is no. Trade wars arise when you don't have dispute settlement mechanisms," he said.

Bhatia also warned about the threat of protectionism in both countries.

"In the US, there are those on both sides of the political spectrum who seek to close down the US market to China," he said.

In recent months, legislation has been proposed in the United States such as imposing high tariffs on Chinese imports unless Beijing revalued its currency that could have a serious adverse effect on Sino-US trade and investment.

In China, there are numerous voices calling for new policies and regulations to restrict market access to foreign firms, particularly in the services sector. There are also growing calls to provide protection and other forms of government support to domestic companies, said Bhatia.

He said the United States looks forward to overcoming new challenges and creating even stronger commercial and political ties in the years to come.

"If this is to be the Pacific century, both China and the United State will play important roles," he said.

Page: 12