01 December 2011 18:46 [Source: ICIS news]
In what amounts to a broad indictment of Beijing’s trade policies, US ambassador to the WTO Michael Punke said that while China at first moved toward trade liberalisation and transparency in the first five years after being admitted to the WTO in 2001, it has since renewed wide use of trade-distorting policies.
“In fact,” Punke told a WTO meeting in
“This is a troubling development, and the
Speaking at the tenth annual review session in Geneva, Punke said that while China initially “took impressive steps to implement a sweeping set of commitments … almost all of these steps took place in the first five years after
In the last five years, Punke charged,
He said that
Punke cited a broad range of what he said were continuing and in some cases accelerating Chinese restrictive policies, including prohibited subsidies, discriminatory tax treatment, local content requirements, export restraints, product “dumping” in foreign markets and ongoing failure to enforce intellectual property rights (IPR).
Beijing also continues to pursue “an array of other industrial policies that raises serious concerns”, Punke said, naming burdensome and capricious licensing and operating requirements that in particular have frustrated foreign suppliers of services – banking, insurance, law and telecommunications – seeking business in China.
In addition, he said that there is a perception among WTO member countries “that Chinese government authorities at times use intimidation as a trade tool”.
“China’s trading partners have heard from their enterprises on too many occasions that Chinese regulatory authorities threaten to withhold necessary approvals or take other retaliatory actions against foreign enterprises,” he said.
He said that foreign firms had been threatened by Chinese officials with retaliation if they spoke out against
Despite the many allegations and charges, Punke indicated that the
“However, the developments I have described indicate that essential work remains ahead to reduce market access barriers, to increase rule of law, including transparency and predictability, and to fully institutionalise market mechanisms in
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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