Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai reaffirmed Thursday that the China-US trade deficit is structural, movable, mutually complementary and beneficial to both sides.
He made the statement to journalists on the sidelines of the two-day Meeting of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Ministers Responsible for Trade which got underway in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday.
The structural deficit was determined by the configuration of industries in China and the US, Bo said. The US manufactured medium to high-technology products while China produced lower tech items. In this situation the US importation of such Chinese products was natural and beneficial to both countries, he added.
Because the US imports low-cost Chinese products the US consumers could save money and the potential of rising inflation faced by the US was reduced, he explained.
The US used to post a trade deficit with East Asian countries with Japan and South Korea topping the list. But now the trade deficit between the US and the two East Asian countries had narrowed while that with China had widened.
But the trade deficit between the US and East Asia had changed little. Over the past five years the deficit with the region had declined. Therefore, it was moveable, Bo explained.
He stressed that one important aspect of the China-US trade deficit was that it was complementary. Through the buying and selling of Chinese products US consumers saved on domestic spending while the country's retail sector had reaped rich rewards and created more jobs. At the same time Chinese exporters had created many jobs by exporting their goods to the US.
As trade between the two countries was beneficial to both there were rapid annual increases, Bo said. However, China had in recent years actively held back its trade surplus with the US as too big a surplus resulted in pressure for China, Bo said.
During the two-day ministerial meeting delegates from 21 members of APEC will focus on discussions about supporting the Doha negotiations, the development of regional trading arrangements and free trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, formulation of an action plan to implement the Busan Roadmap for the Bogor goals on free and open trade and investment in the region, improvement of trade and investment facilitation measures and improvement to the protection of intellectual property rights.
(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2006)