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Locke urges China trade balance

Fri., May 15, 2009, 2:23 p.m.

SEATTLE — China must avoid unfair practices to bring more balance in trade with the United States, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Friday.

In remarks at an opening of a shipping terminal in his hometown, Locke praised the Chinese government’s recent push to increase domestic consumption is an opportunity for expansion of U.S. exports to China.

“This presents America great opportunities to sell more made-in- America goods to China, from machinery, to agricultural commodities, to processed foods, to airplanes and coffee,” Locke said. “Let’s be clear that the ships that come to the Port of Seattle full must leave the Port of Seattle full as well.”

He called on China to take further steps to protect intellectual property ranging from movies to computer programs.

“We’re seeing progress by the Chinese in protection and enforcement of intellectual property,” Locke said, “but we know that there is much more that needs to be done by way of protection of patents and copyrights and trademarks.

The trade deficit with China rose 10 percent to $15.6 billion in March but. according to the Commerce Department, was 10 percent below last year’s pace for the first three months of 2009.

Locke, 59, was the nation’s first Chinese-American governor, serving two terms as Washington state’s chief executive in 1997-2005.

He was confirmed as commerce secretary by the Senate in March after President Barack Obama’s first two nominees withdrew.

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