Transcript: Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," June 14, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: From the war on terror, what could potentially be a major war of a very different kind, this one far more economic, and a real trade war developing between two premier powers in this world. I'm talking about our country and that of China.

With us now, the man trying to make sure that doesn't happen, the Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

Secretary, good to have you.

CARLOS GUTIERREZ, SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: Neil, how are you? Good to see you.

CAVUTO: I'm fine. This is an issue I raised with the president when I interviewed him last week. Did I mention I interviewed the president?

But, anyway, in that interview, Secretary, he did say that he didn't think we would ever come to war economically or, worse, militarily, with China, but that he does watch China closely. Do you?

GUTIERREZ: Well, of course. They're a very large trading partner.

And we have to think of both sides. It's to no one's benefit to get into a trade war. What we're asking our Chinese partners is to simply give us a level playing field. We have been very vocal about IPR. Intellectual property is very important to us. And, you know, it's becoming important to the Chinese as they're developing their own patents and their own trademarks.

CAVUTO: Yes, but, Secretary, I know that you got into this job fairly recently, but they've been doing this for years. They've been making promises they're going to change for years, and they don't. So, what makes you think they're going to change now?

GUTIERREZ: Well, look, they've put some laws on the books. They've started to enforce. They've increased their efforts.

We want to see results. And the fact that we haven't made as much progress as we'd like to doesn't mean that we're not going to. And this is very front and center in our agenda. We also want more market access. We have full access to our market. We just ask that they give us access to their market and have a level playing field.

But intellectual property rights is very important to us. And, Neil, I think we're beginning to see a lot more Chinese patents. So, that means that they're understanding how important intellectual property is to them. So, we're going to make progress on this. And it's very high on our agenda.

CAVUTO: Let me ask you something, Secretary. I mean, there's been a long history of our country wanting the Chinese to quit this artificial peg to our currency. I don't want to bore our viewers. Suffice it to say that they have talked about wanting to address that, but they never do.

But I wonder whether we should be careful what we wish for, that, if that were to change, there would be less of a market for goods changing back and forth between our two countries. And, all of a sudden, American consumers would be faced with higher costs of everything from textiles to cheap tchotchkes and then we might rue the day. What do you think?

GUTIERREZ: Neil, you know, I'll answer just about anything you ask me, but I would prefer if you ask Secretary Snow about the currency.

CAVUTO: So, I guess what I'm raising is, you know the dangers. From your days running Kellogg, you know what it's like when companies have a very tough time when prices coming into this country are dramatically higher. That's what Americans would face if China were to suddenly change its currency policy, right?

GUTIERREZ: Well, as I mentioned before, our agenda from the standpoint of the Commerce Department with China is very clear, very specific.

We're looking at intellectual property rights. We're looking at market access. In terms of matters related to currency, we've got that very much in the accountability of the Treasury Department. And you understand, Neil, why we can't have separate people talking about this.

But I'll answer just about anything else you ask me.

CAVUTO: I got you. Next time I have on, I want you to comment on Alan Greenspan. And then that would complete the comments.


CAVUTO: But, Secretary, always good having you on. Thank you, sir.

GUTIERREZ: Hey, thanks a lot, Neil.

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