The United States' trade deficits with China do not reflect the whole picture of the two country's trade ties, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.
Chong Quan, a spokesperson of the ministry, said the balance of the two country's economic and trade benefits should be viewed from not only trade and investment, but also trade of goods and services.
In an interview with Xinhua over the report by the Office of US Trade Representatives (USTR), Chong said fast development of Sino-US trade ties facilitate the sustained economic growth of the two countries and bring about enormous mutual benefits. US consumers benefit hugely from cheap and quality goods made in China.
It is estimated that the US consumer price index would have gone up by 2 percent without consumer goods from China, said the spokesperson.
Chong said China is the fastest growing export market of the United States, and one of the major sources of profits for overseas US companies.
"It is therefore of great importance to maintain stable Sino-US trade ties. China has noticed that the report released by the USTR recognizes this point," he added.
He quoted a survey conducted in 2004 by the China US Chamber of Commerce as saying that 62 percent of US firms in China provide goods and services. Annual sales of their goods and services in China exceeded US$ 75 billion and the US firms in China export a similar amount of goods to markets outside China.
"The benefits coming from investment, however, have not been reflected in trade statistics," said the spokesperson.
Commenting on the USTR's figure of US trade deficits with China of US$ 202 billion in 2005, Chong said there is a great disparity between US and Chinese statistics.
The trade deficit figures released by the United States are exaggerated -- they should be US$ 114.17 billion according to Chinese statistics, he said.
"As a matter of fact, US trade deficits with China are closely related to the international transfer of industry of economic globalization."
As the USTR acknowledges in the report, US trade with other Asian trade partners narrowed while the US trade deficits with China grew -- the share of US trade deficits with the Asia-Pacific region of overall US trade deficits dropped to 43 percent in 2005 from 57 percent in 1999, said Chong.
The spokesperson said the Chinese government attaches great importance to Sino-US economic and trade relations and is willing to strive to narrow the bilateral trade deficits.
To illustrate his point, Chong said China placed an order for 70 Boeing passenger planes last year and China's imports of soybeans from the US account for one third of the total US soybean exports.
China also hopes the United States will relax its restrictions on exports to China as soon as possible to remove trade barriers from its sectors which have the most competitive advantages.
On the concerns put forward by the United States in the report, Chong said China has abided by international rules and has been committed to its obligations since it joined the World Trade Organization.
Chong said China's tariff on manufactured goods was lowered to 9 percent from 42.9 percent before the entry, and tariff on agricultural products was down to 15.2 percent from 54 percent, while 100 sectors and sub-sectors opened up services trade, a level close to that of the developed countries.
China's imports have been growing annually by about US$ 100 billion in each of the recent years, making it the world's third biggest import market, which fully indicates the openness of the Chinese market, said Chong.
On protection of intellectual property rights, Chong said China's legislative, law enforcement and executive departments have constantly taken measures to protect intellectual property rights and the progress is obvious to all.
China believes that the economies of China and the United States are mutually supplementary, which constitutes the basis for sustained expansion of economic and trade relations, said Chong.
Chong called for both sides to improve mutual trust and cooperation to create a better environment to stabilize and promote bilateral economic and trade relations.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2006)