The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) welcomed commitments by China at the annual meeting of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) Monday which the NAM said made incremental contributions to the removal of trade obstacles.
“The NAM appreciates any positive movement in the trade relationship,” said NAM Vice President for International Economic Affairs, Frank Vargo. “However, as helpful as these individual steps are, they need to be followed by systemic changes that will put our trade relationship on a more fair basis without Chinese government intervention skewing the trade flows.
“The JCCT exists to deal with specific problems and no one should expect its actions by themselves to resolve the bilateral trade imbalance,” said Vargo. “Nevertheless, today’s achievements – including promises that the Chinese government will stop using stolen software and will take an initial step to fulfill its long-standing promise to join the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement - are certainly positive developments. And, of course, we welcome Chinese purchasing missions and look forward to more of them.
“We appreciate the tremendous amount of work that both the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office have devoted to this process,” Vargo said. “But we have to face up to the fact that China did not deliver on some important commitments.
“Now all eyes are on President Hu’s visit next week in anticipation of steps that could make major improvements,” said Vargo. “We are very pleased that President Bush has said he is looking for important declarations from President Hu both on China’s controlled currency and on its uncontrolled intellectual property violations.” Noting that China accounted for 70 percent of last year’s increase in America’s global manufactured goods trade deficit, Vargo said, “President Hu must realize the time has come when the fundamental issues have to be resolved.
“America’s manufacturers are not asking for anything unreasonable,” said Vargo. “As Secretary of Commerce Gutierrez said, “We’re not asking for special favors. We just want the same thing that we give our Chinese partner-- a flexible currency, market access and intellectual property rights protection.”