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U.S. trade representative calls for joint efforts with China to promote Doha talks
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08:22, December 05, 2008

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The U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said here Thursday that her country and China, as two WTO (World Trade Organization) leadership countries, should cooperate closely to push forward breakthrough of Doha round talks.

Schwab, who was here among the U.S. high-profile trade mission for the fifth China-U.S. strategic economic dialogue (SED), made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua.

The United States would like to see successful conclusion of Doha round negotiation, ideally to achieve modality agreement this year, she said.

China and the United States agreed during the SED meeting on Thursday to push forward completion of the modalities for Doha by the end of December.

During the SED meeting, Schwab told a press briefing that there were mutual concern expressed about the danger of trade protectionism and the importance of concluding the Doha round.

"We also talk about the commitments made by respected leaders at G20 summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In both cases, our respected leaders pledged to resist protectionism and pledge to strive to achieve modalities agreement in the Doha round to its next stage," she said.

She said the United States was concerned about the rise of trade protectionism. The G20 summit and the APEC meeting produced important statement against trade protectionism, and move towards open market.

It was critically important to translate these statement into action, she noted.

As to bilateral relations, Schwab said it was critical for her country and China to cooperate closely in multilateral occasion and in bilateral mechanisms.

It was critical timing for the two countries to lift trade barriers and reflect balanced and healthy two-way trade, She said, noting that it was increasingly clear that the U.S. and China, as stakeholders, work together to set example for other economies and lead the global economic system.

She said the two nations should make more cooperation in the WTO, regional forums such as the APEC, and bilateral mechanisms such as the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the SED.

The SED was a very productive bilateral forum to discuss trade related issues and resolving difference and respective concerns, she said.

"I suspect whether the new administration would extend the mechanism or formulate its own version. However, we would like to see smooth transition, and will recommend the importance of SED to our successors," she noted.

Initiated by the heads of the two countries in 2006, the biannual SED is the highest-level regularly scheduled dialogue between the two nations. Beijing is hosting the current two-day session.

Source: Xinhua

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