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US to Solve Textile Issue with China via Negotiations

Visiting US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Thursday that the United States government hopes to solve the US-China textile issue through consultations and continue strengthening its economic and trade relations with China.  

Gutierrez made the remarks in Beijing Thursday at a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China. He arrived Thursday morning.


He also said he will focus on protecting intellectual property rights during discussions with Chinese officials.


China and the US have become the two "main engines" of the world economy and China's economic progress has been "amazing" since it embraced reform and opening-up 26 years ago, Gutierrez said, who is on his first visit to China after taking office.


The US seeks a strong relationship with China, he said, noting that the two countries can learn from each other.


China is now the US' third largest trade partner and its fastest growing export market. US exports to China increased by 80 percent since China entered the World Trade Organization in December 2001, he said.


Sino-US relations have "been good for the US, for the US workers and business people ... and for China and Chinese business people," he said.


However, Gutierrez expressed dissatisfaction with China's lax or nonexistent protection of intellectual property rights, saying that the US was "encouraged" by China's commitment on that issue but would push China for "tangible results."


Meanwhile, China said the US restriction on some of its textile exports violates the principle of free trade.


The US reimposed quotas on seven kinds of Chinese textile and clothing products, four months after such quotas were eliminated worldwide according to WTO agreements.


During Gutierrez's three-day stay in Beijing, Chinese senior officials, including Vice Premier Wu Yi and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, will meet or confer with him. US Trade Representative Rob Portman is also scheduled to meet Wu on Saturday.


Local analysts hold this visit could help attenuate Sino-US textile trade friction, which has provoked anger among Chinese textile and garment producers. Experts, however, have ruled out the possibility of escalation into a trade war.


(Xinhua News Agency June 2, 2005)

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