US-China Trade: Is the Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

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The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) reported last week on the status of US-China trade. The report stated:

“In particular, there is concern that the U.S.-China trade relationship lacks balance in opportunity, as well as equity and durability, with China’s focus on export growth and developing domestic industries not being matched by a comparable focus on fulfilling market opening commitments and on the protection of intellectual property and internationally recognized labor rights”.

Key concerns were said to include Chinese barriers to some U.S. exports, China’s failure to protect intellectual property rights, and poor implementation of labor laws. It was also announced that the US would set up a new task force to monitor China trade issues.

Meanwhile the Chinese are focused on the other side of the coin, and the fact that, according to a senior official at the national people’s Congress, “The American people have enjoyed the cheap prices of made-in-China products, and according to a Morgan Stanley report, in the past ten years, these cheap products have helped save 600 billion U.S. dollars for the country”.

In any event, the continuing arguments over trade mean good business for US lawyers, who are being hired by Chinese firms, such as furniture makers, to argue their cases – with some impressive successes. Not a bad example of China exporting low-cost goods, and importing high-value services!

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“Made in China” helps US save billions of dollars: official
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China Daily – China
… Mr. Zhang headed the legal department in China’s Commerce Ministry before setting up his own firm in Beijing several years ago. …

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