Stable trading relations with US expected
US trade policy with China is unlikely to witness dramatic changes during the next four years, and the steady growth of Sino-US trade is expected to continue.
George Bush's victory was good news for many Chinese companies selling goods and services to the United States, since Democrat John Kerry had attributed the loss of US jobs to trade and outbound investment, said Zhao Xijun, a professor from the Renmin University of China.
Bush will continue to promote investment and trade, especially with a collective push from big companies, he said.
China and other countries are expecting a more stable trading relationship with the United States, he said.
"It is favourable for Chinese companies to have a situation unchanged by a Bush victory, which may bring less friction," Zhao said.
Daniel Griswold, director of the Centre for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, said President George W. Bush speaks often of the benefits of trade for the US economy.
The Bush administration strongly supported China's entry into the World Trade Organization, and has worked constructively with China on a range of trade issues, he said.
It rejected a string of Section 421 requests by US industries to restrict imports of Chinese-made wire hangers, pedestal actuators and brake parts. The Bush administration also dismissed two Section 301 petitions that would have imposed tariffs on Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged labour abuses and currency manipulation.
During the administration's tenure, two-way trade between the United States and China has continued its spectacular growth, from US$74 billion in 2000 to US$126 billion in 2003, according to Chinese statistics.
This year the number is expected to hit US$150 billion and the trade volume in the first three quarter has surged by 34 per cent to US$122 billion, according to Chinese estimates.
As the world's most-developed country, with the best high-tech production capabilities and abundant capital, the United States has developed closely interdependent relations with China, which is the biggest developing country, and which has a vast market and great desire to receive foreign investment, said Wang Youli, an expert from the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation.
Different economic structures have made the bilateral trade ties a win-win game, Wang said.
However, that is not to say that there will be no friction between China and United States, Wang said.
Just before the election, the Bush administration decided to re-impose quotas on Chinese socks and agreed to consider safeguard measures on Chinese cotton trousers.
Griswold said Bush had not been immune to protectionist pressures.
His Commerce Department has rejected arguments to recognize China a "market economy" for purposes of anti-dumping calculations.
His administration has also retreated from free trade principles in the face of political pressure, casting a cloud of uncertainty over the trade policy of a second Bush term, he said.
But analysts all agreed that it does not really matter who becomes president of the US, the impact on China will be minimal.
Sino-US relations are shaped by the mutual interests shared by the two countries under a giant framework, rather than by individuals, Wang said.
Neither Bush nor Kerry can weaken, let alone cut off, existing bilateral trade relations, he said.
The trade deficit with China is always a problem for the US government. The Chinese Government is seeking to resolve the imbalance and China's capability to import from the United States will further grow with its economic development, Wang said.
The US export control against China also represses full play of its comparative advantages, leading to a trade imbalance between the two countries.