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Sino-US trade friction unlikely to trigger trade war(11/26/03)

     Induced by U.S. domestic politicalfactors, the recent trade friction between U.S. and China poses a serious threat to the world economy, experts in Beijing.

    However, they noted that there is little chance for the friction to develop into a full-scale trade war.

    Last week, the U.S. government said it would impose new limits on China's exports of three kinds of textile products to the U.S, and meanwhile, it said investigation would be carried out on China's wooden bedroom furniture under suspected dumping charges.

    On Monday, the U.S. slapped dumping duties on color TVs imported from China.

    In response, China canceled a planned trade mission to the United States to sign contracts for soybeans and other farm produce, and China is likely to boost tariffs on some U.S. products.

    A tit-for-tat trade war seems imminent. Nevertheless, analysts cited America's emerging protectionism as one of the measures for the Bush administration to reduce its soaring trade deficit and therefore gain more support in next year's presidential election.

    According to the American Dow-Jones News Service, although there are US-China trade disputes, both sides preferred to resolveproblems through negotiation rather than intensifying them throughtariffs.

    U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledged that rising trade barriers could make America less competitive.

    And Stephen Roach, chief economist and managing director of Morgan Stanley criticized the US government, saying that such moves are actually charging extra taxes on American consumers.

    The U.S. has begun seven anti-dumping cases against China this year, targeting products valued at about 1.6 billion US dollars, and the Chinese government has urged the United States to take a fair approach in tackling trade problems, said an Chinese officialwith the Ministry of Commerce.


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