SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- China should open its closed markets and relieve a growing frustration among American politicians and the public that could put trade ties at risk, a senior U.S. trade official said Wednesday.
Commerce Secretary William Daley said the Clinton administration was disturbed by the dark mood in the United States, driven by a sense that U.S. companies were being treated unfairly -- illustrated by last year's $57 billion trade deficit with China."We need greater access across the board for industrial goods, for agricultural goods and for services. That is the only real solution," Daley told U.S. business executives in Shanghai, China's financial capital.
Daley's comments mirrored U.S. demands during intensifying negotiations over Chinese efforts to join the World Trade Organization. The top U.S. trade negotiator on WTO, Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, left Beijing after a day of talks Tuesday, saying substantial gaps remained.
Her comments appeared to dim prospects that 13 years of fitful negotiations over China's WTO entry could be wrapped up in time for Premier Zhu Rongji's visit to Washington next week.
Daley, on a five-day trade mission to China, reiterated that negotiations are continuing but would not be held to a deadline.