U.S. to complete review of exports control system this summer: commerce chief

09:54, May 22, 2010      

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The U.S. commerce chief Friday said the United States would complete its review of the exports control system this summer, without specifying the possibly relaxed controls against exports to China.

"With respect to our export control reform, we want to have that done by this summer," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told reporters during his trade mission to China Friday.

Locke is leading a delegation of business executives from American clean energy companies looking to China's fast growing green energy market, the size of which the United States has predicted will be 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

"We have restrictions on items already readily available from companies around the rest of the world and our restrictions make no sense," Locke said.

The United States' 1979 Export Administration Act limits the export sales of some commercial high-technology goods to China.

The exports control system, operated by the U.S. Defense Department and the Commerce Department, is widely seen as a major cause for the trade imbalance between China and the United States.

U.S. products accounted for 7.5 percent of China's high technology imports last year, down from 18.3 percent in 2001 partly due to the U.S. exports control system, according to China's Commerce Ministry.

"If the share in 2001 is used as a benchmark, U.S. companies lost at least 33 billion U.S. dollars worth of export opportunities in 2009," Commerce Minister Chen Deming said in March.

In a meeting with Locke Thursday, Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Ma Xiuhong said China-U.S. cooperation would be impaired unless the United States takes substantive measures to ease its restrictions on exports to China.

Locke didn't specify which exports are likely to be available to China,citing U.S. national security as the major factor to be considered when reviewing the export control system.

Locke stressed restrictions will be eased on some commonly available high-tech goods and strengthened on sensitive technologies with military uses.

"We need to intensify and increase our protection on some very super-sensitive technologies to make sure that they don't get in the hands of those who want to do America ... harm, especially terrorist organizations," he said.

"Some of it can be implemented almost immediately while some can be done in a matter of months once there is agreement within the administration on the review," Locke said in response to Xinhua's question on when the new export control system will be in operation.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:燕勐)

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