Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson yesterday cautioned US law makers that passing
protectionist trade laws aimed at China in a bid to protect American jobs would
be a mistake.
who is just back from a four-day visit to China, also decried what he called an
increasing trend of protectionist sentiment in the United States and elsewhere.
He said a rapidly changing economy would lead to some job losses and dislocations,
but that can in turn open the way for more job creation in other sectors.
making trade a scapegoat and enacting protectionist legislation would make us
worse off," Paulson said. He advocated negotiations were a better option.
He said he had pressed Chinese leaders last week "to move more quickly to
adopt market-oriented reforms which would reduce their trade imbalance with the
senate finance committee chairman Max Baucus, told reporters that Congress would
pass currency legislation to allow duties against goods from countries with "fundamentally
misaligned" currencies regardless of any progress that Paulson makes in negotiating
said, "China needs, at the very least, a nudge." He said, "No country
out of the goodness of its heart ever lowers a trade barrier," and that the
senate finance committee bill would help Beijing more quickly "do what it
knows it should do" and stop keeping its currency artificially low.
lawmakers believe that China deliberately undervalues its currency to make Chinese
goods cheaper in the affecting the competitiveness of American companies.