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US to reconsider high-tech trade barriers

By Cheng Yingqi  (China Daily)

13:22, May 03, 2012

"As you know, we are reviewing our high-technology export regulations," said John Holdren, US assistant to the president for science and technology.

"Certainly, I hope some of those changes will address some of the concerns that our colleagues in China have had, but this is a complicated domain. Where the technologies are judged to be relevant to national defense, those prescriptions will continue. But we hope that in other domains, there will be changes that will benefit China."

Earlier reports said that China has called for the US to ease the restrictions it has placed on exports of high-tech products. That will help to meet the increasing Chinese demand for technology related to clean energy and environmental protection.

But, despite China's willingness to buy such products from the US, the US has not changed its export regulations.

According to media reports, 16.67 percent of China's imports from the US were composed of high-tech products in 2001. By last year, the number had fallen to 6.26 percent, a result of tightened US export restrictions.

In late March, Gary Locke, US ambassador to China, said at a news conference that the US was planning to lift a ban imposed on exports of 46 high-tech products to China. Even so, a Ministry of Commerce spokesman said on April 17 that the ministry had not seen any steps taken toward that end.

Holdren spoke to China Daily at a conference that last from Tuesday to Wednesday in Beijing, where China and US science and technology officials discussed the possibility of cooperating on projects related to environmental protection, clean energy, agriculture technology, health and similar matters.

At the conference, China's Ministry of Science and Technology signed a project protocol with the US Department of Agriculture and a memorandum of understanding with the US National Science Foundation.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said the Chinese government is doing more to protect intellectual property rights as international cooperation on science and technology becomes more common.

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