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Chief WTO negotiator anticipates next decade of China (4)

(Global Times)

08:13, September 16, 2011

Trade friction frequent

Amid uncertainties in the world economy caused by the European debt crisis and slowing economic recovery in the US, many trade disputes have been filed against China, now the world’s main manufacturing center.

The US Commerce Department said on August 30 that it was setting preliminary duties on galvanized steel wire and certain steel wheels from China to offset Chinese government subsidies. Earlier this year, the department imposed duties on drill pipe and wood flooring from China. In 2009, the US government imposed a tariff of up to 35 percent on Chinese tires. The US trade deficit with China was $268 billion in 2008 and $273 billion in 2010, according to figures from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission and the US-China Business Council.

“Trade frictions only generate less than 2 percent of total trade value. We shouldn’t exaggerate trade frictions,” said Long.

As long as a country’s measures are compliant with WTO rules and not introduced out of domestic political needs, they shouldn’t be counted as trade protectionism, he said.

The US is the world leader in international trade, and it’s inevitable that there will be trade frictions with China, which ranks second.

“You’ll never have trade friction if you do not engage in trade,” Long remarked.

China’s imports totaled $1.4 trillion last year, from which the US benefited most, Long noted. After China joined the WTO, the US granted China permanent normal trade relations status, and modified its law to remove the annual review of China’s trade status, which greatly boosted bilateral trade.

The success in the past proves that “win-win” should be the universal rule.

“Chinese companies must get used to responding to litigation,” said Long. In July this year, the WTO Appellate Body supported China’s position against the EU’s application of antidumping tariffs on imports of certain metal fasteners from China, marking Beijing’s biggest legal victory over the EU so far at the WTO.

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