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Obama gets tough on China trade

Monday, November 14, 2011 - 02:08

Nov. 14 - 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. Kirsty Basset reports.

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They're some of the toughest words the U.S. president has used against China. 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. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "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." Beijing recognises that a stronger yuan is in its interests - but what China and the U.S. disagree over - is how quickly the yuan should be allowed to appreciate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The problem is that you've got a bunch of export producers in China that like the system as it is and making changes are 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 U.S. was partly to blame for the trade imbalance between the two countries. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN LIU WEIMIN SAYING: "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 we obtained, the restrictions the U. S. imposed on China have cost it nearly 100 billion U.S. dollars worth of exports." Obama's sharp words may be about appealing to U.S. 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 to be acting under U.S. pressure. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Obama gets tough on China trade

Monday, November 14, 2011 - 02:08