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February 9, 2010

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Home » Business » Economy

US trade tensions to intensify

TRADE disputes between the United States and China may become more intense this year as the US struggles to protect jobs and spur economic growth.

But, analysts say, it is not fair and not wise for the US to use China as a whipping boy for high unemployment, and trade friction between the two economic powerhouses will harm world economic recovery.

The US announced on Saturday that they would levy anti-dumping duties of up to 231.4 percent on gift-wrapping ribbons from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

This was the day after China's decision to impose tariffs on imports of chicken products from the US.

The US Department of Commerce said it would charge a 231.4 percent duty on ribbons from the Chinese mainland and 4.54 percent on those from Taiwan because they were alleged to be subsidizing the production or the export of these products.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said such retaliatory actions by the US may be frequent this year.

"It is a challenge for the US to revive its economy and increase the number of jobs available," Jin said.

"To take China as a scapegoat seems to be an easy measure, but it is definitely not a solution to the deep-rooted problems in the US."

Jin said it was unavoidable for trade attack and counter attack actions to occur between the US and China this year against such a background.

Mei Xinyu, a researcher under the Ministry of Commerce, also said intensive trade disputes were expected this year when the US tries to protect jobs and retain people's purchasing power to sustain its economic growth.

"But many such small industries like ribbons, low-end tires and blankets are already transferred out of the US and are not likely to return. To impose tariffs on Chinese exports of these products can only add costs to the bills of American consumers," Mei said.

Sino-US trade tensions have risen since September when the US decided to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese tires.

Conflicts quickly spread to other industries, including steel pipes, movies and raw materials.


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