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Don't overplay trade friction, say analysts
By Dai Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-02-16 06:07

Sino-US trade frictions should not be overplayed and positive trends ignored, Chinese experts said yesterday in response to a United States' review on its trade relations with China.

On Tuesday, the US Trade Representative Office released its first top-to-bottom review of Sino-US trade in five years and it suggests that the administration take a tougher stance against China in trade and rigorously enforce trade laws.

US Trade Representative Rob Portman criticized Beijing for "failure to enforce intellectual property rights, its protection and support for certain domestic industries and its refusal to fulfil certain market-opening commitments," which he believed "helped fuel the huge US trade gap with China."

Portman proposed a new chief counsel for China trade enforcement within his office the first such position mooted by the agency for a single country.

While the proposed tougher stance has been making the headlines of many US papers, the general thrust of the report is positive, said Mei Xinyu, a trade expert at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Co-operation attached to the Ministry of Commerce.

The report acknowledged that the United States benefits from trade with China, adding that US exports to China had grown at a rate five times that for the rest of the world since 2001. It also said China has become the fourth-biggest US export destination.

While there will be friction, both sides should handle it calmly, Mei said, adding that is unfair for the United States to blame China for its huge trade deficit.

"Both sides should work to find pragmatic ways to address the deficit. For example, as China has proposed many times, the United States should ease its rigid controls on technology exports," Mei said.

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