CHINA / National

Don't politicize trade issues, US urged
(China Daily/Agencies)
Updated: 2006-04-21 05:48

SEATTLE: President Hu Jintao has urged the United States not to politicize trade disputes, emphasizing that China's fast growth provides tremendous commercial potential.

"China's development will present enormous business opportunities to the United States and other countries," he told a Wednesday luncheon in Seattle attended by about 600 business leaders and government officials.

He said opportunities are in nuclear energy, natural gas and energy conservation. "China has a huge market and a strong demand for America's advanced technologies and management expertise."

Hu noted that China's annual economic growth averaged 9.6 per cent during the last 27 years and the country has drawn in foreign direct investment of US$620 billion.

On trade frictions between China and the United States, he said: "We should properly address these problems through consultation and dialogue on an equal footing."

Differences should not be politicized, he stressed.

The president also asked the United States to ease export controls on high-tech goods and eliminate protectionist measures.

Hu's visit comes amid simmering trade disputes between the two countries, ranging from China's trade surplus and its currency exchange regime to US companies' access to the Chinese market.

Hu argued that the China trade has saved American consumers billions of dollars and created millions of jobs and brought "great benefits" to both sides.

He reiterated that China does not seek a big trade surplus with the United States and is working hard to reduce the figure.

But he added that the surplus was a natural outcome of changes in US industry and of globalization.

"At least 90 per cent of US imports from China are goods that are no longer produced in the United States," Hu said. "If not from China, the United States will still have to import these products from other suppliers."
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