Ministry: U.S. report ignores China's role in global trade

2024-02-27 08:20:02China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China strongly opposes the United States' misrepresentation of its lawful trade activities as "economic coercion", and emphasizes that the country stands firmly against U.S. unilateralism and bullying behavior, the Ministry of Commerce said on Monday.

Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a report on China's World Trade Organization compliance, claiming that "China remains the biggest challenge to the international trading system established by the WTO", which disregarded China's efforts in fulfilling the commitments that the country made during its accession to the intergovernmental organization.

The head of the ministry's department of WTO affairs said that China has noted the unfounded accusations in the report, according to a ministry statement.

The U.S. has disregarded China's significant achievements in fulfilling its WTO commitments, the official said.

The U.S. has not only distorted China's accomplishments in building a market economy and advancing reform and opening-up, but also failed to acknowledge the country's important contributions to the multilateral trading system and global economic growth since its accession to the WTO in December 2001, the official said.

The U.S. has been making baseless and arbitrary accusations about China's trade and economic policies, showcasing its unilateralism and bullying behavior, the official added.

Tu Xinquan, head of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said that China's accession to the WTO has allowed it to leverage its strengths as well as engage in and contribute to the global value chain. This has generated products and employment opportunities worldwide while offering high-quality goods and services at reasonable prices, Tu said.

Since joining the WTO, China, as its largest developing member state, has consistently supported the multilateral trading system, practiced true multilateralism and fulfilled its WTO commitments, according to the Commerce Ministry statement. Furthermore, it said, the country has continuously improved its market economy institutions and legal framework based on its national conditions, expanded high-level institutional opening-up, and deeply participated in the reform of the WTO.

China has also actively helped other developing members, especially least-developed nations, integrate with the multilateral trading system, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, Yu Zhen, director of Wuhan University's Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Economies in Hubei province, said that despite key differences between China and the U.S. on WTO reform, there is still space for cooperation. Both countries should explore avenues to maximize their shared interests and collaborate to address the issues within the WTO's trade dispute settlement system, Yu said.

The deadlock in the WTO's dispute settlement system continues. The U.S. proposes that the process should default to adjudication by panels, while China and the European Union advocate a two-stage arbitration procedure using the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement.

Yin Zheng, executive vice-president of China and East Asia operations for Schneider Electric, a French industrial conglomerate, said that global companies have benefited tangibly from China's membership in the WTO, and his company will continue to invest in innovation activities in the country.

Ni Yueju, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of World Economics and Politics, said that 20 years ago, multinational companies primarily sought to manufacture in China, while the country is now viewed as a critical end market, requiring companies to make significant changes in their strategies.

Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao met on Monday with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on the sidelines of the 13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.

Both sides engaged in in-depth discussions on achieving practical outcomes during the conference, which runs from Monday to Thursday, as well as various economic and trade issues of mutual concern.

Wang also expressed China's serious concerns over U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and trade-related issues concerning Taiwan.

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