24 August 2006 16:21 [Source: ICIS news]
By Joe Kamalick
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US-China relationship staggers toward yet another trade crisis as a deadline looms in the US Senate where sentiment for trade sanctions against the Middle Kingdom is growing as fast as China’s trade surplus.
Barely a month remains before the 30 September deadline set earlier this year by senators who are demanding that ?xml:namespace>
That deadline will reach its midnight at the peak of the
The deadline takes on even greater portent now in the wake of a new study by the Manufacturers Alliance showing that for the first time
The alliance said in a special report by senior trade specialist Ernest Preeg that China’s manufactured exports worldwide totalled $404bn (€316bn) in the first half this year, well ahead of the $367bn in US exports of manufactured goods to the world marketplace.
Preeg termed the Chinese gain a “dramatic reversal,” noting that as recently as 2001, US manufactured exports were double those of
“This dramatic reversal,” said Preeg, “together with the increasingly high-tech orientation of Chinese exports, poses a serious challenge to
Preeg said the new trade figures may move Congress to act. “I don’t think people have recognised how serious this has become,” Preeg said, “but these numbers will definitely get their attention.”
The gain in
Earlier this year Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-North Carolina) and Senator Charles Schumer (Democrat-New York) introduced a bill that would impose a 27.5% duty on all imports from China, but they told US treasury secretary Henry Paulson that they would hold off on the measure until 30 September. In the meantime, they wanted the Bush administration to get
By 30 September, every member of the House and one-third of senators will be in full-tilt re-election mode. Republicans especially are running hard, fearful that the unpopular war in
The 27.5% duty bill might not pass; the House and Senate have a lot on their plates in the waning days of the 109th Congress, and a China-bashing bill might easily get shuffled aside. But if it should get passed by Congress, Bush would be hard pressed to veto the measure only weeks ahead of the election.
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