US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said on Thursday that US legislation against China would not resolve thorny trade issues with the Asian economic giant.
US lawmakers and manufacturers are becoming increasingly vocal about Beijing's yuan policy which they say gives Chinese companies a huge unfair trade advantage, contributing to a US trade gap with China that reached $202 billion in 2005.
Two US senators on Tuesday proposed legislation to force the Bush administration to get tough on China over its currency, while another pair of senators sidelined a bill with a similar goal.
"It's about partnership and not managing trade through legislation," Gutierrez told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Tokyo after a trip to China earlier in the week.
His visit to China comes ahead of high-level Sino-US trade talks in Washington on April 11, which will precede a visit by President Hu Jintao to Washington on April 20.
Asked if there would be any concessions such as big purchases of US goods by the Chinese side ahead of the April talks, Gutierrez said he believed one act alone would not solve the issue.
"We want all partners to be more than a one-act situation," he said.
The newly proposed legislation by US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus would modify how the US Treasury labels currency regimes that it feels give countries unfair trade advantages.
The bill would make it easier to bring the authority of global institutions like the International Monetary Fund to bear on countries that do not let financial markets set relative currency values.
The other bill, authored by Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Lindsey Graham would impose stiff tariffs on China for failing to address the yuan issue. Schumer and Graham said they would delay a vote on their bill until September.
China ended the yuan's decade-old dollar peg last July. The currency's exchange rate against the dollar has risen a little more than 3 percent since then.
(Chinadaily.com via agencies March 31, 2006)