US President Barack Obama, on the eve of a US visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, pledged US$26 million in new funding to better enforce existing international trade regulations by creating a new interagency trade enforcement center, Reuters reported. The funding will be used to hire 50 to 60 new people and improve the coordination of US government responses to unfair foreign trade practices, White House economic advisor Gene Sperling said. The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, which houses the Foreign Commercial Service and the Import Administration, will receive US$24 million of the funding, while another US$2 million will go to the US Trade Representative’s Office. Xi, the frontrunner to lead China as president and communist party secretary after Hu Jintao steps down later this year, arrived in the US on Tuesday for talks with Obama and other senior officials. Since taking office, Obama’s administration has filed five trade cases against China at the WTO.