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Report Points to Trade Barriers

Chinese companies faced more trade and investment barriers in the US than in any other part of the world in the past year, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said Thursday.
Its 182-page annual foreign market access report devoted 22 pages to obstacles faced in the US, followed by 18 pages for the EU and 14 for Japan.

It is the third report of its kind to be issued by the ministry's Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports & Exports, summing up Chinese firms' trade and investment difficulties in the nation's 22 major trading partners.

Trade remedies, technical standards, quarantine and quality inspections, intellectual property rights, customs procedural requirements, environmental protection and labor standards were among the measures that caused difficulties for Chinese exports and investment.

While the first edition of the report highlighted 250 trade and investment problems, this edition listed 450, said Wang Shichun, head of the bureau.

The barriers have increased in line with the fast growth of the country's foreign trade and investment, Wang said.

A total of 16 economies initiated 57 anti-dumping and safeguard investigations against Chinese goods last year. These cases involved goods worth US$1.26 billion, the single largest amount in the world.

The report says US legislation contains many provisions against Chinese products, and Wang said that many unfair practices in anti-dumping investigations in economies such as the US and EU are also barriers to China's exports.

The US filed six anti-dumping investigations and 12 product-specific safeguard investigations involving Chinese exports last year.

The EU filed nine cases against Chinese products last year, almost one-third of the total number of cases it filed. It only filed three cases involving Chinese companies in 2003.

Besides China, other WTO members including the US, EU, Japan, South Korea and Canada have also started compiling such reports.

(China Daily April 1, 2005)

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