China blames U.S. export controls for trade imbalance

Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said Thursday that the current trade imbalance between China and the United States has mainly been caused by U.S. restrictions on over 2,400 items exported to China.

He said it will be difficult for the two countries to achieve balanced trade if the U.S. continues to maintain control over such a large variety of exported goods.

The minister made the remarks while addressing journalists at a press briefing held during the ongoing fourth round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), which kicked off Thursday in Beijing.

Chen urged the U.S. to stick to its pledges and take timely action in relaxing its export controls.

“Currently, the fact is that the U.S. has not only failed to relax export restrictions, but has instead tightened them in some areas,” Chen said.

“For instance, the U.S. is now mulling loosening controls on exports of commercial satellites, but it has also stressed that the controls will not be eased for China,” Chen said.

He added that a failure to remove export controls for China will be harmful to the U.S. companies and employment, as well as the U.S. plan to speed up exports.

“The U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the U.S. will make timely and actual changes regarding this issue. I hope this day will arrive soon,” Chen said.

Chen said China’s foreign trade is now basically balanced, indicating that the exchange rate issue is already having a limited impact on the country’s foreign trade.

He urged both countries to discuss the issue during the S&ED talks.

The S&ED, initiated in 2009, is aimed at advancing the construction of the China-U.S. bilateral cooperative partnership, deepening communication and coordination on macroeconomic policies and major issues in the world economy, boosting economic and trade cooperation and enhancing communication on international and regional affairs.

Xinhua