March 7 - Beijing says new U.S. trade bill goes against international trade rules, will not adjust yuan to compensate for U.S. failure to fix trade deficit. Arnold Gay reports.
China says a U.S. trade bill allowing duties on subsidised Chinese products goes against international trade rules. Commerce Minister Chen Deming says Beijing abides by World Trade Organisation rules, but is not bound by local regulations. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE COMMERCE MINISTER CHEN DEMING SAYING: "First of all, I want to point out that China follows the rules of those international organizations we have joined, the rules of the WTO. For example, in terms of economy and trade, we joined the WTO as a new and developing member ten years ago, so we abide by the rules of the WTO. We, of course, have no obligation to follow domestic laws or regulations in any specific country." U.S. President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill into law, which the White House says will protect American jobs. U.S. imports from China hit a record $399.3 billion in 2011, and its trade deficit with China reached a record $295 billion. Calling U.S. criticism unfounded, Chen says Beijing did not retaliate when Washington subsidised American companies like automakers. Chen also rejected suggestions that China should adjust its currency to compensate for Washington's failure to tackle its trade deficit (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE COMMERCE MINISTER CHEN DEMING SAYING: "I have noticed that the U.S. trade representative and Treasury Secretary have noted to the Congress, as you said, that they would use the meeting, as well as other events, to push forward yuan exchange rate reform. When I heard about this, I thought I heard wrong. They should push the U.S. dollar reform since the U.S. trade deficit has exceeded 4.8 percent of GDP." Chen's comments come a day after the U.S. Congress passed the controversial bill that Obama is set to approve. Arnold Gay, Reuters.