China says export boom shows goods still welcome

  @ibtimes on August 23 2007 5:50 AM

Foreign sales of some Chinese products have been shaken by reports of dangerous goods, but the country's fast-rising exports show most consumers remain untroubled, senior Chinese officials said on Thursday.

The Made in China brand has been tarnished in recent months by a stream of incidents of tainted and faulty products and recalls of millions of toys.

Assistant Minister of Commerce Wang Chao blamed misleading news coverage for smearing the nation's reputation.

Some consumers have had misunderstandings about 'Made-in-China', and that has led to sales of some products made in China encountering problems, Wang told a news conference.

But I must say that in the past period the growth rate of Chinese product exports has risen. That is, most importers, retailers and consumers retain a fair and understanding attitude towards China's products.

U.S. imports from China totaled $121.0 billion in the first five months of the year, and are on track to surpass last year's record of $287.8 billion, when the bilateral trade deficit also reached a record $233 billion.

China could become the third-largest market for U.S. exports by the end of the year, the Commerce Ministry said in a report issued at the briefing.

But the officials spent most of their time parrying questions over product safety scares and other disputes dogging trade with the United States.

Excessive amounts of lead in paint on toys and other children's articles led the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a recall of more than 300,000 Chinese-made items on Wednesday.

That followed Mattel Inc's recalls of millions of toys -- including 436,000 die-cast toy cars because their paint may have contained too much lead.

Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng also said some foreign media reports had grossly exaggerated China's quality problems, but he acknowledged the concerns were shared by the country's own citizens.

China's residents, its ordinary people, have concerns about food safety and quality problems that are absolutely no less than those of consumers in other countries, Gao said.

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