"U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. Total U.S.-China trade rose from $5 billion in 1980 to $147 billion in 2002. China is now the fourth-largest U.S. trading partner. With a huge population and a rapidly expanding economy, China is a potentially huge market for U.S. exporters. Yet, U.S.-China commercial relations have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China ($102.3 billion in 2002), China's restrictive trade and investment practices, and its failure to provide adequate protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). […] The continued rise in the U.S.-China trade imbalance has led several Members to call on China to either appreciate its currency or to make it fully convertible (currently, China's currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar)."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB91121
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/