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A Strong Chinese Middle Class Could Ease US-China Relations

A thriving middle-class of consumers in China could lead the way to easing trade relations between China and the U.S., Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, told CNBC today.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk
Tim Slone | AFP | Getty Images
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk

Trade relations are tense between the two countries: As an example, U.S. senators are proposing legislation that would tack tariffs onto Chinese imports.

“It is in China’s long-term interest to allow their currency to flow to a more market standard,” said Kirk. “But we see extraordinary potential for U.S. manufacturers, innovators, farmers, ranchers and workers, if we can construct an environment in which China develops a more broad-based economy, in which they develop a middle-class of consumers.”

Sounding a general note, he added: "The United States can't continue to be just the world's consumers. We have to save more and, frankly, we need to make more."

  • Watch the full interview with Kirk here