White House promises crackdown on China after record deficit

The Bush administration declared Tuesday that the United States has entered a new phase in its economic relationship with China and promised ‘rigorous enforcement’ of laws aimed at curbing unfair trade practices.
The pledge was contained in a 29-page administration review of America’s economic relationship with China that was released four days after the government reported that the United States recorded a $202 billion trade deficit with China last year. That’s the highest ever recorded with a single country and up 25 percent from 2004.
That deficit has brought renewed pressure from Congress for President Bush to be more forceful in cracking down on what China’s critics see as blatant unfair trade practices in currency manipulation, theft of intellectual property and China’s refusal to honor all the market-opening commitments it made when it became a World Trade Organization member in 2001.
U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, whose office prepared the new review, said the administration intended to use ‘all options available’ to address various problems with China.

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