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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

China, US Agree to Talk Through Trade Friction

China is making progress in the battle against piracy and counterfeiting, said US Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans.

"(I was) impressed that Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi had started to conduct a countrywide campaign at the central, provincial and local city government levels as to the importance of intellectual property rights enforcement," he said at a Thursday press conference in Beijing.

He noted that the Supreme People's Court had also made progress in producing a document that would toughen criminal penalties for counterfeiting.

During a four-day visit in which IPR and greater market access topped the US agenda, Evans said China had expressed its intention to close the US-China trade gap.

Bilateral trade came to US$62.4 billion in the January-April period, a year-on-year increase of 34.4 percent. The US is currently China's third largest trading partner, following the European Union and Japan.

The US wants China to widen its market access. Evans pointed to US investors' concerns over getting a level playing field in China.

Top Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premiers Wu Yi and Zeng Peiyan and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, met Evans during his stay in Beijing.

Both Bo and Evans believe complications and friction are inevitable along with the rapid growth of China-US economic and trade relations, and that the two nations will team up to resolve the issues through candid dialogue.

Bo said China deserves market economy status in dumping and subsidy cases.

China made a compromise agreement in its entry into the World Trade Organization in late 2001, allowing other members to treat it as a non-market economy in dumping and subsidy cases until 2016.

Bo said Chinese furniture producers--mostly private or joint ventures that are fully market-driven operations--are treated unfairly as the US uses surrogate countries to determine export prices.

At the same press conference, US Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said four agreements have been inked between China and the US on labor projects.

(China Daily June 25, 2004)

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