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Trade with China Fraught with Disadvantages, Economist Says

To University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici, the disadvantages resulting from U.S. trade with China are clear enough: China's 24% tariff on imports for one, and the United States' $6 trillion external debt resulting from imports for another.

"Every year China spends 9% of its GDP to subsidize exports by suppressing the value of its yuan," Morici said. "We wanted them to stop that, and they have not."

However, Daniel Griswold of the CATO Institute focuses not on imports, but exports -- specifically, U.S. manufacturers' collective profits of $400 billion just last year.

He said the U.S. is winning as an exporting nation, especially to the Chinese market.

"We're winning every day. Americans are winning in the marketplace in terms of trade. It's a win-win-win," Griswold said. He added that China is moving in the right direction toward a flexible currency.