Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai held talks with Visiting US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez Saturday to explore ways and means of solving the Sino-US textile trade friction, which will possibly cause 100,000 job cuts in Chinese factories.
The two sides also discussed intellectual property rights protection, US trade deficit with China and the preparation work for the upcoming 16th meeting of Sino-US joint commission of commerce and trade, but mostly focused on the textile issue.
"Sino-US trade witnessed such great progress in the last 26 or 27 years and we two countries should have the capability to properly deal with the textile trade issue and other questions," Bo said after the talks, which lasted three quarters longer than the scheduled one hour.
"China has become the third largest trade partner of the United States and it's natural for some problems to emerge in such a developing progress," Bo said. "We exchanged our points on the textile issue frankly and in a systematic manner during the talks."
The US government decided to restrict Chinese textile and clothing imports earlier this year, months after such quota was eliminated worldwide on January 1, according to World Trade Organization agreements.
Such limitation sparked anger among Chinese textile and clothing industry.
As one of the world's major textile and clothing provider, Chinese textile industry has an estimated 19 million employment opportunities and even more in relevant sectors, according to Bo. Most of the factories were of low-profit and workers were low-paid but relying on the job to raise their families.
Gutierrez said it's a "good meeting," but he did not elaborate what the US will do to settle the textile issue.
The US "understands the frustration" China and Chinese industry felt on the textile issue and hopes it will not hurt the bilateral relations, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2005)