"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 intellectual property rights (IPR); its refusal to adopt a floating currency system; and its maintenance of industrial policies and other practices deemed unfair and/or harmful to various U.S. economic sectors. 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. […] China's rise as a major economic power has raised a number of concerns over its impact on the U.S. economy. […] In addition, massive piracy rates in China have not only cost U.S. firms billions of dollars in lost sales in China, but also in third markets and in the United States. Finally, imports of certain contaminated food products from China have raised a number of health and safety concerns."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33536