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US states balance China as both partner and rival
Some US governors view China as trading partner to cultivate, not a rival to castigate
By The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) ' A group of U.S. governors is traveling to China this week to explore new economic relations, even as national political leaders escalate talks of sanctioning the country over trade policy.

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire says now is a vital time to be working diplomatically with China instead of intensifying disputes. China is by far the largest destination for Washington state exports, including apples and airplanes, accounting for about $10 billion in product.

The U.S. Senate voted last week to threaten China with higher tariffs because of a dispute surrounding its currency valuation, and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has accused China of stealing American inventions. Gregoire worries about the current rhetoric and says Chinese retribution could affect state economies.



Gregoire is leading the delegation in meetings that start Tuesday.


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