Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai said on Wednesday that it was an "unwise" move of the United States to reimpose quotas on three types of apparel imports from China. They are cotton knit shirts, cotton trousers, cotton and man-made fiber underwear.
In a meeting with Thomas Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, Bo said China strongly opposes the decision, which fails to abide by the spirit of free trade encouraged by the US itself.
Economic and trade cooperation between China and the US has witnessed rapid growth in the past 20 years, indicating the complementary nature of Sino-US economic and trade ties, Bo said.
"China and the US should increase consultation and cooperation to properly resolve issues arising from economic and trade relations between the two sides," he noted.
The development of textile trade between China and the US accords with the common interests of both sides, he said, noting that US importers, retailers and consumers all gain obvious profits from Chinese textile exports to the US.
Over half of the Chinese textile exports are made by foreign-funded companies in China, the minister acknowledged.
As far as trade is concerned, both China and the US have their individual advantages, and yet stand to gain from each other, Bo said, noting that Sino-US trade relations should be looked at from macro view.
"We should not jeopardize the overall situation because of some trivial matters," he said.
An integration of the textile trade is an important right enjoyed by China after its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Bo stressed. He added that China will not set up restrictions on its own textile exports, since that would violate WTO agreements on trade of textile and apparel products.
The US Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in promoting economic and trade cooperation between China and the US, he said, hoping that the chamber would further promote exchanges within business circles in both countries in a bid to create more favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation.
Donohue said US business circles attach great importance to the development of economic and trade relations with China. The US Chamber of Commerce would like to provide US businesses and political circles with information conducive to US-China economic and trade ties, to further encourage cooperation with China, to jointly solve problems, and to promote the growth of trade and investment between the two countries.
The two sides also exchanged views on the balance of trade between China and the US, and intellectual property rights protection.
(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2005)