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Representing the People
Representing the People
UPDATED: March 16, 2010 NO. 11 MARCH 18, 2010
Export Conundrum

Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce (JIANG XIAOYING)

As a result of the serious global recession, China's exports fell a hefty 16 percent last year, forcing painful factory closures and sending numerous migrant workers home. The export woes, however, have showed signs of healing this year, but China still faces an uphill battle to pick up the slack on the trade front. The world economy still remains fragile and volatile, casting an ominous shadow over the trade sector, said Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce.

The United States, for example, is still reeling from staggering unemployment while southeastern European countries are confronted with sovereign debt risks. That is why China should have a basic understanding of the global economy and press ahead with stiff efforts to revitalize exports, he said.

Meanwhile, China has taken measures to support imports and keep a relatively balanced trade account. The trade surplus in 2009 shrank by 34 percent to around $196 billion. As imports continued to pick up this year, the surplus in the first two months of 2010 dropped 50.2 percent from the same period last year, according to Chen.

More specifically, China derives 73 percent of its surplus from the United States and 55 percent from the EU. At the same time, China is recording trade deficits with more than 50 countries worldwide, he said.

China's huge surplus with the United States is resulted from serious restrictions on exports to China. This is unfair for U.S. residents and entrepreneurs, and also harmful to employment and the recovery of the crisis-stricken U.S. economy, notably against the background that President Obama pledged to double U.S. exports in five years, said Chen.

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