China's turning protectionist

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: Hank Paulson has arrived in eastern China on his first visit there as U.S. Treasury Secretary. He's warned against high expectations for his four-day visit to the communist country. And Jocelyn Ford reports this is a tough time to try to even out the huge trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.


JOCELYN FORD: China is turning protectionist. That's the concern of the foreign business community here. Beijing-based Corporate lawyer Michael Dardzinski:
MICHAEL DARDZINSKI:"Foreign investors in China have seen over the last year or so a lot of new regulations that seem to have an economic protectionist component to them."

For example, China has slapped limits on foreign investment in real estate, and made it harder to buy Chinese companies. It's also restricted foreign news agencies from selling directly to clients.

DARDZINSKI: "There's increasing concern that there's economic nationalism focus from the china's central government."

Paulson will try to nudge China to continue opening its economy, but he is walking the high wire. He also faces protectionist sentiment back in Washington.

Some members of Congress have promised to hold a vote on legislation that would tax every item imported from China. That's if Paulson's nudging Chinese authorities doesn't work.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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