US Tackles China’s “Unfair Trade Practices” in WTO Review
GENEVA, Oct. 20 (Reuters) – The United States said on Wednesday that China’s industrial policies “lay the groundwork” against imported goods and services, as well as their foreign suppliers, and that Washington will implement all means to obtain reforms.
Other “unfair trade practices” include preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises, data restrictions, inadequate enforcement of intellectual property rights and computer theft, US charge d’affaires David Bisbee told the ‘World organization of commerce.
He was addressing a closed-door WTO meeting held to conduct the watchdog body’s first trade policy review since 2018.
“We also cannot ignore reports of China’s use of forced labor in several sectors,” Bisbee said, apparently referring to activists’ allegations of ethnic Uyghurs detained in Xinjiang, an accusation Beijing said. denies.
The United States would use all available tools to try to persuade China to make the necessary changes, he added in remarks made available by the US trade delegation in Geneva.
The 20-member Chinese delegation to the talks was led by Trade Minister Wang Wentao. Trade sources quoted Wang as saying that China’s basic policy is to open up its economy and deepen reforms while respecting WTO rules.
But other WTO members have urged China to continue reforms to achieve fairer competition and transparency in the market, they said.
Australia urged China to forgo its access to special and differential treatment, granted when it joined the WTO 20 years ago, and said China’s practices were increasingly inconsistent with its WTO commitments, according to trade sources.
Japan also expressed concern about the lack of transparency and urged China to tackle the problems of trade-distorting measures and state-owned enterprises, they added.
Bisbee said the United States took 27 dispute settlement cases against China to the WTO, securing victories, but many of them were “empty.”
“Even when China changed specific practices that we challenged, China often did not change underlying policies, and meaningful reforms from China remained elusive,” he said. .
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Matthew Lewis
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