WASHINGTON-The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) U.S.-China Business Relations Task Force met Tuesday with senior administration officials to discuss the trade imbalance with China.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab were among those in attendance.
“Despite strong efforts from the Administration on a variety of issues, the U.S.-China trade deficit continues to widen,” said Michael E. Campbell, President and CEO of Arch Chemicals and chairman of the Task Force. “We voiced our concerns on how to best deal with this issue, notably pressing for faster appreciation of the yuan in this month’s Strategic Economic Dialogue and further enforcement of international agreements.”
Campbell added that the yuan’s undervaluation is evident by China’s $1.2 trillion in foreign currency reserves.
“Secretary Paulson understands that patience is growing thin not just on Capitol Hill but on the shop floors of American manufacturing plants,” he said. “We told him we recognize that Congress cannot legislate Chinese exchange rates but we can legislate our own taxes to begin leveling the playing field.”
Campbell also applauded Ambassador Schwab for filing cases in the WTO and for her efforts towards enforcing intellectual property rights, often highlighted as a major problem with Chinese operations.
Secretary Gutierrez noted that the Bush Administration is taking steps towards adressing the U.S.-China imbalance, most recently the appointment of William "Woody" Sutton as Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services. (Click here for additional information about the appointment)
“The Administration has taken enormous strides to accelerate the pace of enforcement over the past few months,” Campbell said. “The Commerce Department’s announcement of the application of countervailing duties to Chinese subsidies is a positive move. We complimented Secretary Gutierrez for making this strong anti-protectionist move to address China’s illegal subsidies.”