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US-China trade talks set for next week in California
Updated: 2008-09-11 10:27

WASHINGTON - The United States and China hold high-level trade talks in California next week amid tensions over the Asian power's export surplus and concerns about a slowing global economy.

The meeting Tuesday will mark the 25th anniversary of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), a government-to-government dialogue aimed at resolving bilateral trade issues to expand trade opportunities, the US Commerce Department said.

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US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and US Trade Representative Susan Schwab will host China's Vice Premier Wang Qishan at the JCCT talks at the Richard Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda in southern California.

Gutierrez and Schwab will co-chair the talks with Wang, who is in charge of Chinese economic and trade matters.

US Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer will also participate in the session.

A private dinner for JCCT participants will be held Monday night, Jenifer Sarver, a Commerce spokeswoman, said.

The United States and China have expressed concern about protectionism amid their economic difficulties, fueled by high oil and food prices and financial market instability.

China is grappling with inflation and growing macroeconomic imbalances while the United States is battling price pressures in a sluggish economy as well as the worst housing slump in decades.

US officials repeatedly have raised the issue of the value of the yuan, which some say is artificially low and thus a factor in the trade imbalance between the two countries.

The yuan has appreciated by more than 20 percent against the dollar since China delinked its currency from the greenback in July 2005.

The United States is saddled with a ballooning trade deficit with China, which hit $163 billion last year, according to the Chinese statistics.

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