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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 14:04, June 25, 2004
China introduces overall WTO rules by Foreign Trade Law amendment
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It is widely acknowledged by foreign businessmen in China that the country is gradually introducing overall WTO rules by revising its Foreign Trade Law.

Since the revised Foreign Trade Law will come into effect on July 1, China will smoothly turn WTO rules into domestic law so as to guarantee the proper exercise of rights as a WTO member and safeguard its legal rights and interests, this will also bring benefits to foreign-funded enterprises in China, said Chen Jialiang, a staff member of the China division of FedEx.

In recent years some foreign companies lodged IPR lawsuits against China, but less noticed is that rights of some Chinese publications and cultural relics are frequently violated in foreign countries. In accordance with the newly amended Foreign Trade Law, said vice president of Ford's China division Xu Guozhen, China will adopt trade measures to prevent infringing goods from being imported, IPR holders' misuse of rights and promote protection of Chinese IPR commodities in foreign countries.

Statistics show that China is becoming a target of "anti-dumping investigations" by world countries. Through amendment and implementation of the Foreign Trade Law, said Guo Hongde from a Canadian business company, China will reverse the passive situation and actively defend its legal rights and interests.

Trade investigation is an important means for big trade countries to protect their own industries and keep market order, and the new law included provisions on "foreign trade investigation". China's foreign trade departments are entitled to conduct investigation on trade barriers in related countries and regions, they can also kick off investigations so as to decide whether to adopt trade relief measures such as anti-dumping, anti-subsidy according to law.

The newly revised Foreign Trade Law further improved the trade relief system, which is of far-reaching significance, said Ai Mingli, who works for a foreign-fund advertisement company. This will enable Chinese enterprises to receive legal relief promptly once their legal rights are violated. If other countries and regions hurt Chinese industries by knocking Chinese market at prices under commodity value or giving special subsidy to their goods, China will take anti-subsidy measures to reduce or remove the loss and provide necessary legal support to related Chinese industries.

The new Foreign Trade Law enables Chinese individual to conduct foreign trade, this is also of far-reaching significance, said Liu Renjie, a Hungarian long engaged in foreign trade. In the past natural persons of China were not allowed to conduct foreign trade, but along with China's WTO accession, the right of foreign trade will be given to all foreign individuals and enterprises, whose treatment will not be lower than their Chinese counterparts.

If foreign natural persons can do foreign trade business in China, then Chinese natural persons will of course able to engage in foreign trade. This point is particularly important in technology trade, international service trade and border trade activities, for it will greatly promote non-governmental trade activities in the country and becomes the real foundation for China's participation in international trade.

The draft amendment to the Chinese Foreign Trade Law, submitted for deliberation for the third time, was passed by a unanimous vote at the eighth meeting of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which was closed on April 6.

By People's Daily Online

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