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China Immune to Paulson's Charms, Says Trade Expert


U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is in China this week, seeking parity on a number of economic issues.

The China Call

With American concern over the yawning trade and currency gaps, Congress has pressured the secretary to get results. How far will Beijing go to accomodate its key trading partner?

"My hypothesis is the Chinese will do something --but not a lot," said Peter Morici, former director of economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Morici, now a professor at the University Of Maryland School Of Business, believes the Asian collossus will continue to enact "modest depreciation" in order to "take some of the pressure off Paulson." But he maintains that the Chinese are single-minded and are "really not going to change their policy."

But with the Chinese economy growing 11.9 percent in the last quarter, Paulson has said he is more concerned about a Chinese economy overheating and potentially derailing than he is about China's role as a rival to the U.S.

CNBC's senior economics reporter Steve Liesman agrees with the secretary, adding that currency concessions may not matter as much as Congress or "the average American" may think.

"The U.S.-Chinese relationship is the single most important economic relationship in the world today -- and the [currency] is just one small aspect of that," Liesman said.

'All kinds of things are on the table -- trade, development, technology -- that can make the world a richer place, if we can do this [negotiation] right."