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Sino-US trade gap dispute continues
By Jiang Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-28 10:40

The Sino-US trade deficit does not tell the whole story of trade relations between the two countries, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

The gap in Sino-US trade relationship was achieved through a balance of investments and trading goods and services, said Chong Quan, spokesperson of the ministry.

His remarks are an objection to a review of Sino-US trade released by the US Trade Representative Office.

In the review, US Trade Representative Rob Portman criticized China for "failure to enforce intellectual property rights, its protection and support for certain domestic industries and its refusal to fulfil certain market-opening commitments." He said this "helped fuel the huge US trade gap with China."

According to the US report, the US trade deficit with China widened to US$202 billion last year.

Chong said there was a great disparity between US and Chinese statistics.

"The figure was exaggerated," he said. The Chinese statistics report the gap to be US$114.17 billion.

Chong explained that while the United States sees an increasing trade deficit with China, its trade volume with other Asian countries narrowed, as was acknowledged in the report.

The spokesman said that the fast developing two-way trade facilitated the sustained economic growth of the two countries and brought about mutual benefits.

It is estimated that the US consumer price index would have increased by 2 per cent without consumer goods from China.

A survey by the US Chamber of Commerce in China found 62 per cent of US firms provide goods and services in the Chinese market.

Annual sales of goods and services in China exceeded US$75 billion and the US firms in China export a similar amount of goods to markets outside China.

In order to address these concerns in bilateral trade, a US trade delegation, led by Jim Mendenhall, General Counsel at USTR, is scheduled to visit China tomorrow.

Mendenhall will focus on Intellectual Property Right (IPR) and the auto industry's impact on US-China trade relations.

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