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James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Trade Chief Seeks Reforms In China

By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

 At a meeting with US and Chinese business leaders in Beijing, US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab made a renewed appeal to China to live up to commitments to reform its trade policies and do a better job of complying with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Citing a top-to-bottom review of US-China trade relations conducted by her office, Schwab said, "The report stresses that the US-China relationship today still lacks equity, durability and balance in the opportunities it provides."

She said the disparity is due in part to China's failure to honor certain commitments, including its failure to adequately enforce international property rights and what she said is a delay in fulfilling certain market-opening obligations. "If these issues are left unaddressed, they pose a real danger to the health of our relationship," she said. Schwab's office has created a China Enforcement Task Force that is dedicated to securing China's compliance with its commitments.

Noting that the United States has a trade deficit with China of more than $200 billion, she pointed out there is growing concern in the US Congress over trade with China. She noted there are dozens of bills in Congress proposed by members who want to get tough or stand up to China. While claiming that none of these bills would create or save a single American job and, in fact, would kill jobs and consumer choices, Schwab said they are being proposed by members of Congress who are reflecting very real concerns of many Americans about the impact of China's dramatic entry into the trading system. She said responsible actions by China can help allay these concerns.

Schwab also made a strong appeal for China to lend its support to resumption of the stalled Doha Round of trade liberalization negotiations sponsored by the WTO. She said China has an unprecedented stake in the successful conclusion of a robust Doha agreement, and a successful Doha Round will only be possible with vigorous and positive Chinese participation.

September 5, 2006




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