Photo: flickr: pa*kr
China’s Vice Commerce Minister said something that American politicians would probably like to hear this weekend at a trade forum in Shanghai, Xinhua reports.”The time has come for the government to attach equal importance to imports and exports,” said Zhong Shan, vice minister of commerce. “But import policies are far from perfect, and the country’s import structure also needs optimised.”
American politicians are planning to pass legislation that would punish China for currency manipulation and trade policies that harm the U.S. economy. Chinese officials, of course, are crying foul, and as Zhong’s statements demonstrate, their response is not to talk tough, but to talk cooperation.
That’s pretty much the message in Chinese media as well. Check out this snippet from a piece about the American legislation in China Daily:
US exports would rise even more rapidly if Washington ends restrictions on exports of various types to China. That’s while China has been pushing aggressive pro-consumption policy stimulus measures to absorb surplus savings. That effort could give the United States enormous opportunities to boost exports to China and create jobs.
At a time when the world economy might enter a new danger zone, all countries should act to stimulate business through free trade initiatives. The move to push the currency bill through the US Senate is obviously on the wrong track as it will offer little help in creating jobs or trade expansion. Instead, it could deteriorate the economic problems the country is facing now.
That sounds good. But it isn’t clear whether or not the Chinese consumer, who also faces a global slowdown, is translating these pro-consumption policies into increased purchasing power. If not, then Zhong is just fighting politics with politics. And that’s definitely not enough to stop Washington legislators from passing their bill this week.