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2nd U.S.-China strategic economic dialogue to be held this week

May '07
Henry M. Paulson
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. will host the second meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) next week.

He will be joined by several other cabinet officials including Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Susan Schwab, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, and others.

In addition, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will participate in the SED discussions. Issues on the discussion agenda include: policies to address economic imbalances to ensure continued global growth; China's economic development and further integration into the world trading system; greater openness of markets; cooperation on energy security; and the environment, and innovation. The dialogue was launched by Presidents Bush and Hu in September 2006.

In separate but related news, a bipartisan group of 42 House members submitted a Section 301 petition to USTR last Thursday. The list of signatories includes several prominent members who are influential on trade, including Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin (D-MI).

The petition asks USTR to investigate China's alleged currency manipulation, while it also mentions Japan's alleged manipulation of the yen, the petition stops short of asking for a formal investigation on Japan.

USTR has previously rejected similar petitions and is expected do so again this time. Although the timeline keeps slipping to later in the session, the Ways and Means Committee is expected to continue its efforts to pass a bill to address Chinese currency manipulation later this summer.

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