USTR: Trade with China has room to progress in 2010

08:36, December 23, 2009      

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The Obama administration said that marked progress is "obtainable" in its trade relations with China in 2010, though it reserved its criticism on lingering problems like IRP protection and China market access.

"In some areas, it appears that China has yet to fully implement important commitments, and in other areas, significant questions have arisen regarding China's adherence to ongoing WTO obligations including core WTO principles," the U.S. Trade Representative's office said in an eighth annual report on how well China is complying with WTO rules.

The report, the first issued by the Obama administration, tempered its criticism by saying China made "concrete" progress this year on trade irritants in areas ranging from agriculture to clean energy to government procurement, the Reuters reported Tuesday.

Based on that cooperation, "the United States is optimistic that significant progress is obtainable in 2010," the USTR report said.

Still, it expressed frustration after years of U.S. complaints. "Despite repeated anti-piracy campaigns in China and an increasing number of civil IPR cases in China, counterfeiting and piracy remain at unacceptably high levels," USTR said.

China's progress toward market liberalization slowed noticeably in 2006 and evidence of a "more restrictive trade regime" continued to mount in 2009, the report said.

Some examples it gave include government "Buy China" policies, establishment of unique Chinese telecommunication standards and a new postal law that excludes foreign suppliers from a major portion of the express delivery market.

USTR said it preferred to resolve disputes with China through dialogue, but would not hesitate to take action at the WTO if necessary. It also said it would use its right under U.S. law to stop “harmful” import surges.

The U.S. trade deficit with China is expected to fall significantly this year, along with the overall slump in world trade.

By People's Daily Online
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