Immediately after the State Council, or the cabinet, publicized three anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures and related safeguard measures, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation (MOFTEC) launched a seminar Wednesday on fair trade issues.
Over 200 delegates from government departments, trade and industrial associations as well as domestic enterprises attended the seminar.
Ma Xiuhong, MOFTEC assistant minister, said at the seminar that China will start to implement its promises on tariff reduction next year. Some non-tariff measures, including quotas and licenses, will also be gradually canceled, bringing about more intense competition for domestic industries, she said.
The MOFTEC will provide prompt, effective and reasonable protection for domestic enterprises, and will create a fairer environment for competition in accordance with WTO rules and Chinese legislation, she said.
Ma added that China currently receives the most anti-dumping investigations, which seriously block the stable development of the country's foreign trade. Domestic enterprises still lack the initiative to respond to lawsuits abroad, and a number of foreign discriminatory trade policies are still effective.
On those discriminative policies, the MOFTEC will promote negotiations with foreign governments, improve coordinative institutions on lawsuit response, and provide better services for enterprises, she said.
Ma said fair trade policies and laws concerning imports and exports are important parts of China's foreign trade policies and laws.
China will not only make anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard investigations against imports on the basis of WTO rules, but also guide domestic enterprises to actively defend their rights and interests in investigation cases against Chinese exports.
The MOFTEC will trace and study all kinds of foreign trade barriers, and will stick to the principle of administration by law. It will also further coordination with other governmental branches and go-between organizations as well as enterprises, Ma said.
Ma said the newly established Fair Trade Bureau for Import and Export under the MOFTEC works on anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard regulations against imported products, and on coordination of lawsuit responses of domestic enterprises. The bureau also investigates international trade barriers.
Director-General of the MOFTEC Fair Trade Bureau for Import and Export Wang Shichun said that although 60 to 70 percent of Chinese enterprises have responded to foreign antidumping investigations, and 36 percent enterprises won their cases, companies are still not eager to react.
The increase in the number of foreign-funded corporations in China receiving anti-dumping investigations may affect foreign investment growth in China, Wang said.
Wang also called on enterprises to learn to protect themselves and to improve their financial systems.
(People's Daily December 13, 2001)