- The Washington Times - Monday, July 11, 2005

BEIJING (Agence France-Presse) — The United States yesterday called on China to give it full access to its enormous market and hinted that it will slap further restrictions on Chinese textile imports if they continue to surge.

“What we will focus on very intensely is our exports to the Chinese market,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said. “China has full access to our market. What we want is full access to the Chinese market.”

He added: “Today we do roughly $35 billion of exports. That number needs to go up. That is the number we’ll focus on and that will be the reflection of whether we have more access to the Chinese market or not.”

His comments followed the annual meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Beijing, which also was attended by U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

Vice Prime Minister Wu Yi headed China’s delegation at the commission, which was established to tackle bilateral trade disputes and boost commercial relations.

The talks took place against a backdrop of mounting concern in Washington over Chinese policies, including an inflexible currency regime that U.S. companies say unfairly boosts Chinese exports.

The two sides apparently failed to resolve the rift over Chinese textile exports to the U.S.

“When we believe our market has been disrupted in a manner that requires action, we will consult with our Chinese partners on that,” Mr. Gutierrez said. “We’ll continue to consult as we look at further market data in the future.”

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