At the APEC summit in Hawaii, Barack Obama called on Beijing to act like a ”grown up economy” and take action on currency and trade issues hurting American businesses.
“I think we can benefit from trade with China. We’re going to continue to be firm in insisting they operate by the same rules that everybody else operates under. We don’t want them taking advantage of the United States or U.S. businesses.”
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Beijing recognizes that a stronger yuan is in its interests. But China and the United States disagree over how quickly the yuan should be allowed to appreciate.
“The problem is that you’ve got a bunch of export producers in China that like the system as it is. And making changes is difficult for them politically. I get it. But the United States and other countries, I think understandably, feel that enough’s enough.”
In a clear rebuttal to the direct comments, China’s foreign ministry spokesman hit back, saying the United States was partly to blame for the trade imbalance between the two countries.
“We believe the United States should take concrete measures to loosen restrictions on high technology exports to China, and create more convenient conditions for Chinese companies who go there to invest.
According to statistics, the restrictions the United States imposed on China have cost it nearly $100 billion worth of exports.”
Obama’s sharp words may be about appealing to United States voters as next year’s presidential elections get closer. But there’s also the possibility it will backfire – with Chinese officials unwilling to be seen acting under United States pressure.
Bottom line: U.S. President, Barack Obama, turns up the heat on America’s biggest economic rival, calling on China to play by the same rules as everyone else.