"U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. Total U.S.-China trade, which totaled only $5 billion in 1980, rose to $343 billion in 2006. China is also now the 2nd largest U.S. trading partner, its 2nd largest source of U.S. imports, and its 4th largest export market. With a huge population and a rapidly expanding economy, China is a potentially huge market for U.S. exporters. However, economic relations have become strained over a number of issues, including China's large and growing trade surpluses with the United States; its failure to fully implement its World Trade Organization (WTO)commitments (especially in regards to protection of intellectual property rights), its refusal to adopt a floating currency system, its use of industrial policies and other practices deemed unfair and/or harmful to various U.S. economic sectors, and its failure to halt exports of unsafe food and consumer products to the United States. The Bush Administration has come under increasing pressure from Congress to take a more aggressive stance against various Chinese economic and trade practices. It has recently filed a number of trade dispute resolution cases against China in the WTO, including over China's failure to protect IPR and afford market access for IPR-related products, discriminatory regulations on imported auto parts, and import and export subsidies to various industries in China. In addition, the Administration recently reversed a long-standing policy that countervailing cases (dealing with government subsidies) could not be brought against non-market economies (such as China) when it brought against certain imported Chinese glossy paper products."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33536
National Agricultural Law Center http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/