U.S. President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $26 millionand at least 50 people for a new panel to investigate unfair tradepractices by nations including China, whose Vice President XiJinping is scheduled to arrive today for a U.S. visit.

The 2013 budget proposal Obama will submit to Congress todaycontains funds for an Interagency Trade Enforcement Center thatwould monitor and enforce trade agreements and laws, according toan administration official. Obama announced his intention to createthe panel, which would include lawyers, researchers, analysts andagents supported by the Commerce Department and U.S. TradeRepresentative, in his Jan. 24 State of the Union speech.

Obama is also seeking in his budget an additional $13 millionfor Customs and Border Protection efforts to target pirated goods,$10 million to post 16 Food and Drug Administration employees inChina and three U.S.-based analysts to protect against unsafeimports, said the official, who asked not to be named before thebudget plan was announced.

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