A Chinese firm that aims to compete with Western rating agencies declared Washington a worse credit risk than Beijing in its first report on government debt Sunday amid efforts by China to boost its influence in global markets.
Dagong International Credit Rating Co.’s verdict was a break with Moody’s, Standard & Poors and Fitch, which say U.S. government debt is the world’s safest. Dagong said it rated Washington below China and 11 other countries such as Switzerland and Australia due to high debt and slow growth. It warned the U.S. is among countries that might face rising borrowing costs and risks of default.
The report comes amid complaints by Beijing that Western rating agencies fail to give China full credit for its economic strength, boosting borrowing costs — a criticism echoed by some foreign analysts. At June’s G-20 summit in Toronto, President Hu Jintao called for the creation of a more accurate system.