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China's Development Benefits US Economy: Expert

The US economy has benefited greatly from China's economic growth, and "simply blaming China will not solve issues relating to US economic transformation," an American expert on anti-dumping laws said Friday in an interview with Xinhua.

"China and the United States are the twin engines of world economic growth. China's economic development has numerous beneficial effects on the US economy," said Jeffrey S. Grimson, 38, Counsel and Chair of the China/International Trade Practice of Kaye Scholer LLP, an international law firm with over 500 lawyers on three continents.

Foremost, "Chinese goods have a reputation for being low-priced. The availability of low-priced goods has had a beneficial impact on the US economy, by enabling consumers to enhance their standard of living while keeping inflation down," said Grimson who has been working in the field of anti-dumping laws for 15 years.

Chinese products are moving up the scale of quality too, he added.

Also, economic prosperity in China means more potential customers for US goods and services, he said.

What's more, "the rise of China as a manufacturing superpower has pushed US business to modernize and achieve ever higher levels of efficiency and productivity," said Grimson.

Grimson holds that it is not right for US manufacturers to blame China for a decline in US manufacturing jobs, saying "the transformation of the US economy started long before the current 'crises' with China's trade imbalance, the currency, or textiles. Simply blaming China will not solve issues relating to US economic transformation."

According to statistics compiled by the US-China Business Council, he said, the US manufacturing sector's share of the US economy has fallen from 32 percent in 1960 to 22 percent in 1980, and to 14 percent in 2002.

Grimson noted that "in fact, the decline in the contribution of the US manufacturing sector to the overall economy began long before China's emergence" as a major trade power.

On the bilateral economic and trade relationship, Grimson said the overall economic and trade ties between China and the United States are built on a strong foundation of mutual benefit, and the fact that the relationship is not viewed in the United States as a "two-way street" is in part because the US-China trade statistics are typically viewed in isolation, rather than in broader regional terms.

For example, less than half of the US trade deficit in 2004 is related to trade with East Asian countries, including China, he said, while "overall, the US trade deficit with the rest of the world has increased nearly three times as much as the trade deficit with China over the past ten years."

Because of the negative perception of the US-China trading relationship, trade disputes that might otherwise be considered an expected consequence of such a large volume of trade take on a whole new political aspect, Grimson noted.

"Groups interested in curtailing free trade are able to capitalize on the negative political environment to achieve objectives that might not otherwise be attainable," he said.

It is essential for the two countries to handle trade disputes in an objective, transparent fashion, abiding by fundamental principles of fairness in addition to merely the strict letter of international and domestic law, said Grimson.
"For the United States, abiding by international trade agreements is paramount to maintaining global credibility as a country committed to open markets not only abroad, but also at home," he said.

"Unilateral action is not the ideal way to resolve trade disputes," Grimson noted, "Quotas, especially unilateral quotas, are the opposite of what the international free trade rules seek to achieve."

Grimson has traveled to China many times over the past 10 years. When asked about his impression of the Chinese economy, he said that the pace of growth of China's economy is unprecedented.

"China is speeding through decades of development in only a few years. As such, the country has the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of countries. In particular, China can look to the lessons of other developed countries in areas such as urban planning and the environment," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 28, 2005)


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