US creates task force to target unfair trade practices

US President Barack Obama has created a new trade task force to investigate and crack down on unfair practices by American trading partners.

The move comes amid concerns that unfair trading practices, especially by China, were harming US businesses.

Policymakers have accused Beijing of keeping its currency artificially low in a bid to help China’s exporters.

The International Trade Enforcement Center will aim to ensure US businesses have “a level playing field.”

“Robust monitoring and enforcement of US rights under international trade agreements, and enforcement of domestic trade laws, are crucial to expanding exports,” the executive order signed by President Obama said.
Growing tensions

Trade relations between the US and China have been under strain in recent years.

While the US economy has slowed, China has witnessed robust growth powered by the success of its manufacturing and export sectors.

However, US policymakers and businesses have accused China of giving an unfair advantage to its exporters by keeping the yuan’s value low, a move which makes Chinese goods cheaper to foreign buyers.

At the same time, some sectors such as the solar panel industry have argued that Chinese manufacturers have benefited from government subsidies which helps them keep their costs low.

President Obama said the US was working to ensure that its partners abide by international trade rules.

He said the new unit will “bring the full resources of the federal government to bear to investigate and counter unfair trade practices around the world, including by countries like China.”

Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17200621

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