US OTR Probe Ruffling Feathers in China
US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson’s two-day visit to China has conveyed his government’s desire for greater Chinese market access for overseas firms to officials in Beijing. Mr. Paulson met with China’s president Hin Jintao plus a number of finance and economic ministers, and used the opportunity to push for increased financial sector liberalisation, emphasising the benefits a loosening of regulations would bring.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why China letting in strong foreign firms, which are regulated by the Chinese, would undermine stability. It would help stability,” he said. However this talk of increased China access comes at a time when tension between the two giant economies is growing. On July 31 the US Commerce Department agreed to investigate claims that Chinese OTR tyre producers were ‘dumping’ their products in the US market.
In response China’s Commerce Ministry stated that investigations such – the fifth to be conducted within a twelve-month timeframe – were “not only extremely unfair towards Chinese manufacturers…[they were] also not helpful for developing mutually beneficial bilateral economic and trade relations.” Beijing’s People’s Daily newspaper has quoted a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Wang Xinpei, as calling the investigation an “unwise, wrong move.” Wang also claimed that the dual US anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations were an abuse of World Trade Organisation rules.