China has not done enough to expand market access to foreign companies, protect intellectual property rights and address other barriers to trade, representatives of U.S. agriculture, information technology and other industries told an interagency government panel October 5.
The nation must beef up penalties for intellectual property violations, curb financial support for investment, merger and acquisition activity and end trade-restrictive and discriminatory requirements imposed for alleged security reasons, they said.
China presents a complex overall picture, but as the growth of the country’s economy slows, there appears to be mounting reluctance in China to continue its economic reform efforts, Jeff Moon, assistant US trade representative for China affairs, said in his opening statement.
Wheat markets being distorted. Alan Tracy, president of the U.S. Wheat Associates, said China’s policies “create some of the most significant distortions in global wheat markets.” For example, he said, China fails to properly allocate its tariff rate quota (TRQ) to private sector importers.
Under its terms of accession to the WTO, China agreed to allow an annual 9.64 million metric tons of wheat imports subject to just 1 percent duties; but Tracy said that China’s failure to properly allocate the TRQ, so that in most years, only about one-third of the quota amount, “resulting in lost market opportunities for world wheat exporters.” China’s domestic subsidies for fuel and fertilizer, and its value-added tax of 13% on wheat imports, also make it harder for foreign producers to compete against Chinese wheat growers, Tracy said.
The U.S. recently filed a WTO complaint against China’s domestic supports and subsidies for wheat, corn and rice.