US-China Trade Disputes

President Hu Jintao will be arriving in Washington on 17 January 2011. With the news of his visit came the letter from approximately thirty-two senators urging China to welcome talks in regard to trade disputes before Jintao’s pending visitation to the United States of America. The letter was addressed to the Vice Premier of China, Wang Quishan, and it was hoped by the senators that during the US–China Joint Commission of Trade and Commerce, which was held on 14 and 15 December 2010, that some of their concerns can be laid to rest.

It is felt that China’s use of “indigenous innovation” is putting restraints on global competitors and is favoring their domestic sector instead of opening their doors to international trade. China has also been asked to allow the yuan to compete against the dollar, as well as drop their restrictions on beef imports from the United States of America. The senators, led by Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley, commented on the trade disputes by saying that the “The US-China economic and strategic relationship is vitally important. But in order to keep that relationship on track, the United States and China must find ways to constructively address persistent concerns that plague us.” They went on to say that they are optimistic that China and US can work together on finding mutual agreements that would suit both countries and that a stronger relationship can be forged through addressing these issues. Dan Slane, who is the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission president, said, “Under the guise of fostering ‘indigenous innovation’ in its economy, the government of China appears determined to exclude foreigners from bidding on government contracts at the central, provincial, and local levels.”

The “indigenous innovation” project that is referred to, was initiated in China in the year 2006 and was brought into action to encourage and develop the local domestic technology market. China hoped that this would allow them to become less reliant on foreign technology, and strongly denies the claim that the project was used to push foreign business out of China. It is hoped that with the US – China Joint Commission of Commerce and Trade, mutual beneficial agreements can be made and that trade disputes between China and US can be solved.