"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 ($103.1 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, complaints from several U.S. manufacturing firms over the competitive challenges posed by cheap Chinese imports, and concerns that U.S. manufacturing jobs are being lost to Chinese competitors or from U.S. firms relocating production facilities to China, have led several Members to call on the Bush Administration to take a more aggressive stance against certain Chinese trade policies. For example, some Members have called on the Administration to pressure China to appreciate its currency, which is currently pegged to the U.S. dollar (thus making China's exports more expensive and its imports cheaper). Other Members want the Administration to utilize special safeguard provisions to restrict imports of certain Chinese products which are viewed as harming U.S. producers and jobs, particularly the U.S. textile industry."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB91121
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/