Mar 15 2006

U.S. Senators to Visit China

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) today announced they will visit China next week along Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma). “The trade deficit between China and the United States is unhealthy,” said Graham. “We’re going to let the Chinese government know their business practices are causing problems in our relationship. Whether its currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property, or other issues, there’s no doubt that Chinese trade practices are taking a toll. For China to be a respected member of the international community, they must reform their business practices.” Schumer said, “We are going to China next week because this is a critical time for global trade and our relationship with the world’s most populous and fastest growing country. Today, we have the largest trade deficit in history with China. If China is to be a player in the world economy, they must play by the rules every other country has to play by. I want to be clear about one thing: Lindsey Graham and I are not protectionists. We are pursuing the currency issue so strongly because it’s our view that if you believe in free trade, then the biggest economies in the world have to play fair and abide by the rules of the game. We hope we are given some reason to be hopeful that China will revalue its currency and play by the rules while we are there.” “With well over one billion citizens, China can be a large market for American manufacturers to sell their products,” said Graham. “However, if we are to realize the potential of this emerging market, we must have a comprehensive strategy to deal with China. This includes mechanisms to ensure that the Chinese play by the rules.” Graham and Schumer have been promised a vote on their bipartisan bill to encourage China to revalue its currency by the end of March. ####