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Concern Voiced over US Trade Policy
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Chinese Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Sun Zhenyu, on Wednesday voiced China's concerns over US trade policies and urged the US to respond to these issues.


"While we have full confidence in further developing bilateral economic and trade relations China has some concerns about US trade policies," Sun told a World Trade Organization review of US trade policy in the past two years.


He said China's major concerns include the "twin deficits" of trade and finance, fulfillment of transparency obligations, fair implementation of anti-dumping measures and foreign investment restrictions in the service sector.


According to Sun, the US, the most frequent user of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, is always quick to demand compliance from others when WTO rulings are in its favor but fails to meet WTO "prompt compliance" requirements when rulings are against its interests.


He also accused the US of undermining the world trading system by using national security concerns "in an excessive way" to get around the rules saying that stance had significantly affected the normal operation of international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.


"Recently the US exerted pressure and imposed restrictions on inward FDI on account of national security which prevents foreign companies from seeking mergers and acquisitions within the country," he said. "These have dealt heavy blows to members' confidence in the business environment of the US." 


"By interpreting and applying WTO national security clauses in an excessive way it has again seriously undermined the credibility of the multilateral trade regime over which China is highly concerned," he stressed.


Sun also pointed out that it was not wise for the US to restrict the export of high-tech products to China as it had deprived many American high-tech enterprises of opportunities to do business with the country.


"This policy not only harmed the interests of American exporters but also made the trade deficit situation even worse between the two countries," he said.


Sun also criticized the frequent use of anti-dumping measures by the US and noted that quite a number of these practices were not consistent with WTO anti-dumping rules.


He also urged the US to assume greater responsibility in pushing forward the Doha round of global trade negotiations which is expected to conclude by the end of this year but huge challenges still remain.


The US should take further steps forward in cutting domestic support for agriculture thereby making due contributions to the progress of the Doha negotiations, he said.


All WTO members undergo periodic reviews of their trade policies by the Geneva-based body and China was not the only one to express concerns over the US trade policies especially its use of national security concerns as a reason to block trade deals.


The EU, the biggest trading partner of the US, noted in a statement to the WTO that there was a need to strike "a better balance" between security concerns and avoiding "unnecessary and costly burdens" to legitimate business. 


(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2006)

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