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China Dismisses US Threats Over Trade

China is lashing out at the United States after the U.S. Trade Representative said Washington will use all options to curb what is now a record trade deficit with the Chinese.

In his report this week, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said the time has come for the United States to readjust its trade policy with China, saying Washington is ready to use all legal options available.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Thursday criticized the new pressure China is receiving from the United States, saying sanctions will worsen the trade dispute between the two nations.

"To pressure or pledge sanctions against one another will not be beneficial for solving this problem." he said.

He said the two countries should iron out their differences through negotiations as equal partners, and he said Beijing is still studying Portman's report.

The Chinese official argued that trade with China is good for U.S. consumers, saying - as an example - that Americans benefit at Christmas when they can buy Chinese-made gifts and artificial Christmas trees at low prices.

The United States last week announced its trade deficit with China had reached a record $202 billion. That has triggered new complaints by those in the United States who want the government to pressure China to stop pirating American products and further liberalize its currency.

U.S. lawmakers last week proposed repealing the normal trading status granted to China if Beijing does not move to address U.S. concerns.