BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- China said Thursday that a trade bill passed by U.S. lawmakers targeting the yuan violated World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and reaffirmed protective trade measures would not help sort out U.S. domestic problems.
The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to allow the United States to impose trade sanctions against its trade partners for allegedly manipulating their currency, in a move Chinese officials say indicates rising U.S. trade protectionism.
With November's midterm elections approaching, the 348-79 vote sends the measure to the Senate. The bill must gain Senate approval and be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
"The U.S.-proposed anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese imports on the grounds of exchange rate violates WTO rules," Yao Jian, spokesman of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC), told Xinhua Thursday.
With mounting domestic political pressure arising from high unemployment and lackluster economic recovery, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly arguing that an under-valued yuan gives Chinese imports an unfair trade advantage at the expense of millions of American jobs.
Yao refuted the claim that China had gained a trade advantage by means of an under-valued yuan. The outcome of trade between the two countries was instead dependent on the trade and investment structures.
Although China had a trade surplus with the United States, it also had hefty trade deficit with many Asian countries, he said.
A trade surplus should not be blamed on an under-valued yuan, neither should it be used as an excuse for trade protectionism, he said.
Yao said Sino-U.S. trade relations had long been mutually beneficial as China was the United States's fastest-growing export destination.
He cited U.S. customs figures showing U.S. exports to China rose 36.24 percent in the first seven months over the same period last year, 14.4 percentage points higher than Chinese exports to the United States and 13.6 percentage points higher than U.S. exports overall.
Unilateral restrictions could not re-balance bilateral trade. The United States should lift the ban on high-tech exports to China, and expand its export categories, Yao said.
He said China was willing to take measures, together with the U.S., to help balance bilateral trade relations.
"We hope all parties in the United States can evaluate the facts in an objective and comprehensive way, and make the right decision conducive to long-term economic and trade relations between the two countries, which would also be beneficial to the interests of the United States," he said.
More than 1,200 U.S. companies in China said in a letter to Xinhua on Thursday that they opposed the legislation, since it would put thousands of jobs related with the U.S. exports to risks, if a trade war broke out.
"China-bashing will not help the U.S. economy out of the woods, and instead will cost more jobs in the United States. We appeal the U.S. senate not to pass the bill after thorough examination," Hua Jinsheng, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce, said.
Huo Jianguo, head of the research institute of the MOC, said, "Pressuring China on the yuan will not solve U.S. domestic problems. Unilateral restrictions will only intensify trade frictions and make the U.S. economy even worse.
"There is no legal basis to launch countervailing probes on the grounds of an undervalued currency. It is inappropriate and untenable," he said.
U.S. House of Representatives passes bill on foreign currency
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the proposed Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, to allow the United States to seek trade sanctions against its trade partners for allegedly manipulating their currency, a new move of the nation's rising trade protectionism.
The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee passed the bill last Friday, clearing the way for the full House to take up the measure on Wednesday.Full story
China firmly opposes U.S. bill on foreign currency reform: Foreign Ministry
BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- China firmly opposes legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday to penalize countries that allegedly manipulate their currency values for trade advantages, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday.
China urged U.S. lawmakers to fully comprehend the importance of Sino-U.S. trade and resist protectionism to avoid harming the interests of the people of China, the United States, and the world, Jiang said when answering a question at a regular press briefing.Full story
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