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China urges US to stop using surrogate country approach

By Jing Shuiyu | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-03 07:31

China has urged the US, once again, to fully comply with the obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China's accession to the World Trade Organization in a timely manner, said the Ministry of Commerce on Friday.

The US Department of Commerce said on Nov 23 that the time was not yet ripe for the country to reconsider whether to grant China market economy status. "At this moment it is not ripe for us to change our protocol," said US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

The US should not "confuse the issue," Shen Danyang, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said at a news conference on Friday in Beijing.

"Admitting China's market economy status is one issue; fulfilling the obligations is another ... Having reiterated China's position on many occasions, we hope the US can face up to its international commitments timely and completely.

"This would be good for the economic and trade cooperation between the two sides."

In accordance with Article 15, WTO members shall stop using the surrogate country approach to conduct anti-dumping investigations on Chinese exports by Dec 11 this year.

Under the surrogate country system, the US, the EU and some other members use prices in a third country as a benchmark to calculate the normal value of export products from China.

Shen said that China is entitled to its rights as a member of the WTO, while all other members must deliver on their WTO promises.

China is stepping up efforts to safeguard its legal rights.

Xue Rongjiu, vice-chairman of the China Society for WTO Studies, said all members should abide by the WTO rules, and he urged the international organization to settle the dispute.

"This is a serious issue for all WTO members ... After the accession to the WTO, China has brought benefits to itself and the global economy. We hope all countries will stop using the surrogate country system in investigations against China," Xue said.

In mid-November, Vice-Premier Ma Kai won support from the UK and France on the issue during a seven-day visit. Their high officials promised they would influence the EU to fully recognize international commitments.

So far, about 150 economies have duly given China market economy status, among which nearly 100 are WTO members.

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