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    President Bush Calls for Fair Access to China's Markets

    President Bush is calling for fair access to China's markets, and for Beijing to ensure full implementation of some economic commitments.

    The president, who is visiting China, says he will raise important trade issues with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, when they meet Sunday in Beijing.

    In his weekly radio address, Mr. Bush called on China to ensure that its commitments are fully carried out on protecting intellectual property rights and creating a flexible market-based exchange system for its currency. He also called for the balancing of trade with the United States.

    "China needs to provide a level playing field for American farmers and businesses seeking access to China's market," said George W. Bush. "The United States supported China's membership in the World Trade Organization because we believe that the cause of free and fair trade is advanced, if China plays by the same global rules as everyone else."

    Mr. Bush says opening new markets for American goods and services would create more jobs in the United States and help improve the lives of Americans. He says the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum he attended earlier in the week shows Asian countries are working toward a better and freer trading system, and that the United States benefits from Asia's success.

    "The extraordinary economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region has delivered prosperity to millions of people, and it has created many new opportunities for American workers, farmers and businesses," he said. "America is a nation founded on the idea of open exchange. And we know that free and fair trade benefits all sides."

    Mr. Bush says he is also raising the issue of fair trade with other world leaders, and that he has already urged Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, to lift a nearly two-year-old ban on American beef. Japan put that restriction in place after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in the northwestern United States.

    In Washington, U.S. lawmakers have been battling over tax and budget legislation. In the Democratic Party's weekly radio address, Representative Dennis Cardoza of California accused the Republicans of having reckless fiscal policies that are further sinking the country into debt.

     

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