Friday, June 11, 2010

Senators Losing Patience With U.S. Policy on China; New York Times, 6/11/10

Sewell Chan, New York Times; Senators Losing Patience With U.S. Policy on China:

"Leading senators frustrated by a lack of progress by the Obama administration signaled on Thursday that they were willing to consider retaliatory measures to address China’s policies on trade, currency and intellectual property.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing, the members suggested that President Obama’s strategy of quiet diplomacy was producing limited results.

In testimony to the panel, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner could point to only a few accomplishments from the annual bilateral talks he attended in Beijing last month with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As both economies struggle to recover from the recession, longstanding complaints have gotten louder that China gives unfair support to its export-oriented manufacturers, fails to abide by World Trade Organization agreements, permits the theft of American intellectual property and protects its domestic industries from competition from abroad...

“We do not have a strategic, coordinated United States economic policy, that I can determine, with respect to China,” Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and the chairman of the committee, told him.

Mr. Baucus said he was particularly concerned about failure to enforce intellectual property rules. With the goal of promoting “indigenous innovation,” China has set product standards and procurement preferences that are a disadvantage to American workers, companies and technology, many economists believe. Mr. Geithner said some progress on those areas had come out of the bilateral talks, known officially as the United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue."

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