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China Policy
Broward County Policy On China

As the trade relationship between the U.S. and China continues to grow and deepen, the development of Broward County’s relationships in that region are now more important than ever. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s February 2006 Top-to-Bottom Review of U.S.-China Trade Relations, U.S. exports to China have grown five times faster than they have to the rest of the world since 2001, and China has gone from being the 9th largest to the 4th largest export market for the U.S. Subsequently, U.S. exports to China have grown 20% and 22% in 2005 and 2004 respectively.

Disadvantages

The U.S. trade deficit has doubled with China since 2001, with no sign of the trend changing. Mainland China for example is 17th on the Florida-Origin Export Destination list, but is 3rd in imports to Florida, with imports increasing 33% in 2002-03 and 24% in 2003-04.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. exports to China increased 22.4% in 2004, while Florida-Origin exports to mainland China decreased 16%. According to a report released by the U.S. Secretary of State, Florida’s job losses as a result of the

U.S.-China trade deficit are estimated to be in excess of 65,000 since 1989. The trade deficit has doubled since 2001 alone.

China’s propensity to manipulate its currency value has caused economic hardship for its trading partners by driving up the cost their imports while making the cost of their exports cheaper abroad.
China is developing a strategy to directly engage Latin American countries in pursuit of raw goods and natural resources.

China continues to be governed by the Communist Party that controls all major aspects of Chinese Society including censure of information and communication, state sponsorship of industry, and less than stringent observation of intellectual property and copyright protections. The Chinese government continues to restrict full access to their markets, while pushing for unfettered access to other free market systems around the globe.

Advantages

China’s population of 1.2 billion constitutes the largest single-nation market in the world.
China’s GDP continues to grow at the rate of 8% per year, creating the world’s 4th largest economy, and a meteoric rise in its need of virtually all goods, especially natural resources.
While China is developing a strategy of direct engagement in Latin America, South Florida’s proximity, transportation infrastructure, and ties to the region remain a key strategic asset for any nation attempting to access Latin American markets. South Florida can reinforce its role as intermediary of trade.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a review of U.S.-China Trade policies which also lays out specific action directed at strengthening enforcement and readjustment of U.S.-China trade policy. This will benefit South Florida firms currently doing business in China, and make pursuit of trade with China more attractive and advantageous.

Recommendation

Amid such growth, Broward County should remain committed to increasing its export activities in China and East Asia. Broward County must leverage its unique position as a Gateway to Latin America, in an effort to build relationships with, and attract direct investment from Chinese and East Asian exporters seeking access to Latin American markets, as they continue their focus on export growth.

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