US business fears "downward spiral" in China trade
Thursday, 30 September 2010 05:31
(REUTERS) - Congressional passage of a bill to pressure Beijing to revalue its currency could further harm U.S.-Chinese trade relations already hampered by mutual mistrust and suspicion, U.S. companies invested in China said.
With U.S. congressional elections looming on November 2, many U.S. lawmakers who blame unfair Chinese trade practices for American job losses are eager to show they are taking steps to get tough with Beijing and help tackle high U.S. unemployment.
The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that would treat what lawmakers call China's undervalued yuan currency as an export subsidy, a step that would give the U.S. Commerce Department increased ability to slap duties on Chinese goods.
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill this week, but its future in the Senate is uncertain.
"If we take this additional step, it's going to continue this downward spiral," Tim Stratford, a former U.S. trade official who was part of a delegation visiting Washington from the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, told reporters.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai bills itself as the "voice of American business" in China. Its board of governors includes top company officials from the Chinese operations of Citibank, FedEx, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, APCO Worldwide, Corning and General Motors.