By  on February 6, 2008

WASHINGTON — When it comes to managing the tense economic relationship with China, Christopher Padilla, under secretary for international trade at the Commerce Department, has a simple message for Congress: the Bush administration has it covered.

"We cannot control or direct China's decisions, we can only influence them," he said during a speech last week at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. "So the question is what combination of policies would be most effective in influencing China's behavior. The blunt instrument of punitive legislation won't work."

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