The Bush Administration must find a way to restrain the impulseof many in Congress to all but declare a trade war against China.China is now the world's third leading importer, behind only theU.S. and Germany. Since 2000, U.S. exports of goods to China havemore than doubled to $35 billion while U.S. exports to the rest ofthe world have grown a paltry 2%. Last year, China was thefifth-largest market in the world for U.S. exports.
The challenge for the Bush Administration will be to keep thepressure on the Chinese government to continue its economic andtrade reforms while fending off any legislation in Congress thatwould disrupt normal and growing trade and investment ties betweenour two countries. China's emergence from centuries of isolationand stagnation is one of the great stories of our time. Hundreds ofmillions of its citizens are beginning to taste the rewards ofmiddle-class life that most Americans take for granted. It isprofoundly in our economic and security interests to nurture thatprogress.