Outgoing US Commerce Secretary Donald Evans urged China to adopt a market-driven exchange rate for the yuan, saying it was the best policy for long term growth and prosperity. Speaking on his last visit to China before leaving office, Evans said the Bush administration was looking for results in "critical areas", such as clamping down on piracy and improving market access for US companies. The White House is facing pressure from US industry and labor groups who argue that the yuan is held artificially low, giving Chinese exports an unfair advantage. Evans' speech came on the same day as the US announced a record trade US$60.3bn deficit for November, bringing the total for the year US$561.3bn, well above that for the whole of 2003. The deficit with China alone stood at US$147.7bn for the year, up from US$124bn in 2003 and representing about one quarter of the total US deficit. In 1989 the US deficit with China stood at just US$6.2bn.
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