US 'would gain' from relaxation of export curbs

08:28, May 18, 2010      

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The US export control regime is "outdated" and adjustment and revision of the system would benefit the nation by helping it increase exports, create jobs and alleviate its trade imbalance, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said the United States should try to take measures to expand exports to China, instead of barring Chinese imports, when it comes to narrowing its trade deficit with China.

Any move to lift the restrictions will help the US boost its exports to China, he said

Yao made the comments at the ministry's monthly media briefing, following US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke's remarks in Hong Kong last weekend on the US export control mechanism.

Locke, who started a 10-day China visit last Saturday, said that Washington is mulling over "making a very significant reform" of the export control regime, as studies show that some restrictions have "inhibited US companies' sales of emerging technologies and make no sense".

"The existing system is old and obsolete. The US could consider relaxing the measures to expand its own exports, add jobs as expected and also reduce the trade deficit with China," Yao said.

"The US should not take any discriminatory measures against China in this respect," he added.

The US trade delegation led by Locke is in China mainly to promote its advanced technologies in clean energy, energy use, and electric transport.

"Removing the restrictions will help the US strengthen its cooperation with China," Yao said.

Speaking in Hong Kong, Locke claimed that China would probably drive innovative companies away if the investment environment is perceived to be "unfriendly".

The US has demanded that China revalue its currency, claiming that an undervalued currency has helped Chinese exporters gain an advantage in the US market and is the major cause of its trade deficit with China.

"The consensus has been reached that the US domestic consumption mode and its financial supervision mode are what led to the US trade deficit and global economic imbalance, and the renminbi issue cannot be criticized instead," said ministry spokesman Yao.

China's surplus has been declining on a yearly basis for seven consecutive months since last October.

"Monthly figures this year will hover at either side of the balance point. The full-year prospects for Chinese exports are not hopeful, and the nation's trade surplus will drop sharply this year," Yao predicted.

Pressure on exports

And the debt crisis that has swept through European nations is "putting big pressure on Chinese exports" as Europe is the largest importer of Chinese goods.

Locke is expected to visit Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin during the trip.

Analysts said his visit paves the way for the upcoming China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue due to be held on May 24-25.

During the dialogue, China will call for more cooperation with the US, repeating the benefits that the cooperation will bring to both sides, Yao said.

"We will also call for a commitment from the US to resisting trade protectionism and not to take discriminatory measures against China," added the ministry spokesman.

In 2009, the US launched 23 trade remedy cases against China, rising by 53 percent year-on-year and accounting for 65 percent of the total worldwide against China during the same period.

Source: China Daily


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