Contaminating Trade: The Chinese Conundrum

By July 16, 2007Trade

James Pethokoukis of U.S. News provides a concise round-up of the Chinese trade issues in light of recent cases of contaminated and dangerous goods. Included is an interview with Minxin Pei, director of the China Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. Pethokoukis observes:

The Chinese government seems to be taking all this pretty seriously, at least on the image front, sending lobbyists to Capitol Hill and hiring a U.S. public relations firm to get out its positive message. And earlier this month, the government executed its top food-and-drug regulator after convicting him on bribery charges.

But officials would be crazy to limit their efforts to a PR war. The last thing a country with an export-driven economy—an economy, by the way, whose hypergrowth gives the government its sole rationale for dictatorial power—needs is a global panic about the safety of its exports.

The issues will be covered Wednesday at Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

UPDATE (6:10 p.m.): A disconcerting story of bad Chinese tires endangering lives and harming a U.S. distributor. From Business Week: Made in China: Faulty Tires.

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