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And another … Made in China

June 18th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

chinaHot on the heels of yesterday’s protectionism story, the Chinese government are now rolling out their own “Buy Chinese” impositions – in spite of having recently complained bitterly about Obama’s scheme, which they labeled “protectionist poison”.

As in America, the Philippines, Australia and so on, the “Buy Chinese” legislation forces government agencies to favour domestic goods. And such is China’s economic position in the world, that this cannot be dismissed as just an unfortunate by-product of “Buy American,” but could provoke further protectionism from other governments.  As the FT notes, this is “a move that will amplify tensions with trade partners and increase the likelihood of protectionism around the world.”

Chief China economist for Credit Suisse, Dong Tao said:  “given how important free trade is for China’s economy, this is not the right message for them to be sending to the rest of the world right now.”

The message contradicts much of the free trade endorsements that have emanated from Chinese officials of late. Last February China’s deputy commerce minister, Jiang Zengwei, promised that China would “treat domestic and foreign goods equally”.

As per usual, the politician’s rhetoric matches not the reality.

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