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Ready for global trade regime with WTO at ‘core’: China to US

Lighthizer argued that the WTO and the rules that underlie the international trade arbitrator were not designed to deal with China's approach to its economy.

By: PTI | Beijing |
September 19, 2017 10:23:02 pm
A Chinese national flag is seen at a port in Beihai, Guangxi province, China June 17, 2017. Picture taken June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

that it posed an “unprecedented” threat to the world trading system even as Beijing expressed readiness to improve the multilateral trade regime with the WTO at its “core”.
“The sheer scale of their coordinated effort to develop their economy, to subsidise, to create national champions, to force technology transfers and to distort markets in China and throughout the world is a threat to the world trading system that is unprecedented,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had said yesterday.

He added that the threat of China’s economic model cannot be addressed under current global rules.

Refuting Lighthizer’s charge, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said here that since its accession to the Word Trade Organisation (WTO), China had fulfilled all obligations and has made important contributions to the development of a multilateral trade regime.

“US and China are members of the WTO. Whether their behaviours as the two largest economies are appropriate WTO has clear stipulations. We can have clear judgements,” he said.

All countries had benefitted from trade with China, he said.

“As important members of the WTO, China and US can join hands to improve the multilateral trade regime with the WTO at its core,” he said.

Lighthizer argued that the WTO and the rules that underlie the international trade arbitrator were not designed to deal with China’s approach to its economy.

Last month, US President Donald Trump ordered an inquiry into China’s alleged theft of intellectual property in the first direct trade measure by his administration. His order came as part of US efforts to pile up pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea over its nuclear and missile programme.

With USD 567 billion in bilateral trade last year, China is the largest trading partner of the US. Trump wants to cut the whopping USD 347 billion trade deficit with Beijing with more bilateral trade deals instead of trading under WTO rules which Lighthizer argued favour China heavily.

Lighthizer said he gets “an awful lot of complaints”, especially from American CEOs of major companies about having to hand over their technology to joint-venture partners in China, and on piracy-related issues. Lu said for its part, China is committed to opening up and reform and play a decisive role in allocation of resources.

“China supports open economy and improves its business environment. We are an advocate, contributor and architect of the multilateral trade regime,” he said.

He claimed that member countries of the WTO commended China’s multilateral trade regime and expect China to play an even bigger role.

“As for the trade relations between the US and China, its nature is mutually beneficial. Upholding the sound and steady development of trade relations, serves the common interest of two peoples,” he said. KJV KUN 09191751

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