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US senators act to repeal China PNTR status
Updated: 2006-02-10 10:44

Two U.S. senators have proposed legislation to repeal permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status for China, alleging an enlarging U.S. trade deficit with China is all the latter’s faults.

The US Congress granted China the PNTR status in 2000, which paved the way for China to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO) and opened the flood-gate for US businesses to invest in the world’s potentially biggest market.

US senators act to repeal China PNTR status
Speaking in front of a placard showing the logo for the Beijing Olympics, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announces legislation to rescind permanent normal trade relations with China during a press conference in the Capitol in Washington, February 9, 2006. [Reuters]

But senators Byron Dorgan and Lindsey Graham, co-authors of legislative measure, said the status should be rescinded in retaliation for China's unfair trade practices which they said were responsible for the huge US trade deficit, which may surpass 200 billion dollars in 2005.

They alleged Chinese practices including currency manipulation, piracy, violation of labor rules, and barriers to prevent US products from entering the Chinese market, the AFP reported.

However, international trade pundits have cautioned politicians must not be fooled by the custom statistics. They said that products with the tag "Made in China" are actually "Made by Someone Else" - by multinational companies from Japan, South Korea, the United States and Europe, that are using China as the final assembly station in their vast global production networks.

Analysts say this evolving global supply chain - which often tags goods at their final assembly stop - is increasingly out of step with global trade figures, which serve to inflate China into a bigger trade threat than it may actually be, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

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