Senior U.S. Senator to Discuss Yuan Issue on China Trip

Oct. 1, 2010
Finance Committee Chairman Baucus will also address export subsidies, currency practices and intellectual property theft.

A top U.S. senator has announced he will visit China the week of October 10 for talks on disputes in Sino-U.S. trade ties, including a feud over whether Chinas currency is unfairly undervalued.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, whose panel has jurisdiction over trade, said in a statement that he would raise the issue of market access for U.S. beef exports, a key issue in his ranching home state of Montana.

This trip will provide the opportunity to discuss Chinas currency manipulation and other key economic and trade issues with top Chinese officials to find solutions in the best interest of both of our economies, he said.

I have long said that China must take meaningful action to address its currency practices and we must be vigilant in pushing China on this issue, said the Democratic lawmaker, who will visit Beijing and Shanghai.

Baucus said he would press Beijing to do more to battle rampant theft of U.S. intellectual property and tackle issues tied to Chinas indigenous innovation policy of awarding certain government contracts to local firms.

The senator said he would meet with Chinese officials and tour Chinese environmental technology companies as well as U.S. firms with operations in China.

The announcement came one day after the House of Representatives passed a bill targeting what lawmakers branded as Beijings unfairly undervalued currency, which they said makes Chinas exports artificially cheap, wounding U.S. firms and killing U.S. jobs.

The measure invites the U.S. government to consider Beijings actions as an improper trade subsidy, and expands the powers of the Commerce Department by allowing it to slap retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Senate is expected to take up its version of the bill after November 2 elections.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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