The US government's approach to China's exports has been strongly criticised by the China Currency Coalition, which points to the widening US trade deficit with its trading partner.

The coalition said that the widening bilateral trade gap between the two countries - which looks set to top $200 billion - is testimony to China's practice of currency of currency manipulation through undervaluing the yuan.

The latest US government figures reflect that the bilateral trade deficit with China accelerated to a new high of $20.1bn in September for a cumulative yearly total of $146bn.

In the run-up to President George Bush's visit to China at the end of this week, coalition spokesman David Hartquist said: "The bilateral trade deficit with China shows no signs of abating as long as the Administration acquiesces in permitting China to subsidise its exports to the United States."

Hartquist said that the 'slow and gentle' approach to resolving the issue had been ineffective. He added: "It has done nothing to ameliorate and reverse the injury to workers, manufacturers and service providers competing head-to-head with subsidised and unfair Chinese competition".

US manufacturers have been particularly concerned by the surge in Chinese textile and apparel imports after global trade quotas ended at the start of 2005.  However, US trade negotiators finally signed a deal with China last week to restrict the latter's exports of those goods for the next three years.

The China Currency Coalition is an alliance of industry, agriculture, and worker organisations that aims to support US manufacturing by seeking an end to so-called Chinese currency manipulation.