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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 11/4/2011

Amid Tough Talk, Chinese Imports Maintain Stability (For Now) - Good News For Vendors And Suppliers?

Hank Schlesinger
bulk vending, vending supply imports, bulk vending toy imports, capsuled toy, bulk vending operator, vending business, U.S.-China trade policy, Wen Jiabao, U.S.-China Business Council, Muhtar Kent

BEIJING -- Despite recent rumblings from Washington and the presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail, it looks as if there is more of the same in the future for U.S.-China trade policy. This is good news for the bulk vending industry, which depends heavily on stable relations to maintain flows of inexpensive capsule toys.

At issue is China’s reluctance to open its markets to a wide variety of U.S. products and its currency, the yuan, which many have long claimed is undervalued by as much as 40%, giving Chinese imports an unfair advantage.

The yuan issue is particularly worrisome for bulk vending operators and suppliers. A major increase in its value against the dollar would likely lead to significantly higher prices of merchandise that operators could not easily absorb. Likewise, punishing tariffs on Chinese imports could also hamper the import of bulk vendibles.

New legislation could open the door to tariffs. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378) passed in the House, with rare bipartisan support, and would allow the U.S. government to impose tariffs on Chinese imports deemed underpriced.

On. Nov. 1, Premier Wen Jiabao met with a group of high-ranking U.S. businessmen to exchange views on evolving China-U.S. trade relations. During the meeting, Jiabao emphasized cooperation and promised that China will continue to seek an effective way to solve the trade imbalance between the two nations, as he has stated in the past.

"The two countries' economies will remain complementary for a long time," Jiabao said. "We are facing more cooperation and opportunities than competition and challenges in our trade relations. As the world's economy is slowly recovering and facing many challenges, China and the United States should well handle their own affairs, shoulder due responsibilities and strengthen mutual trust and assistance."

The premier made remarks to the U.S.-China Business Council delegation led by Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent. The USCBC also includes high-ranking representatives from Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical Co., Motorola, Ford Motor Co., the General Electric Co., Citigroup and Johnson & Johnson, among other large companies.

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