China blasts protectionist US trade bill, says no to raising yuan value

2012 03 10

COMMERCE Minister Chen Daming has criticised a US bill that would place punitive duties on subsidised goods from China and Vietnam that nullifies a court ruling that forbid the US Commerce Department from imposing countervailing duties on subsidised goods.

Protested the minister: "The US Government has subsidised companies, like the three big automakers, but China did not criticise these moves or start massive countervailing actions," he said.

"We follow the rules of the WTO [World Trade Organisation], but we have no obligation to follow domestic laws or regulations in any country that go beyond international rules," Mr Chen told a news conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress meeting in Beijing, said Reuters.

Beijing will not adjust the yuan's value to help the US solve its trade deficit problem, he said, adding that keeping the yuan from a free market float was not the cause of the trade imbalance. The yuan, he said, is near its fair value.

Mr Chen said China's trade surplus was reduced to 2.1 per cent of GDP in 2011, while the US trade deficit remained at 4.8 per cent and that China's trade surplus was only $150 billion, but its trade surplus with the US was $200 billion.

US President Barack Obama has agreed to sign the bill into law to allow duties to be imposed on subsidised goods from China and Vietnam, which the White House says this will protect American jobs.

The consensus view of a Reuters poll is that China's annual export and import growth enjoyed a sharp rebound in February from a year earlier.

The White House recently announced setting up an Interagency Trade Enforcement Unit to investigate compliance with trade rules, targeting China and Vietnam.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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