China suffers rising trade friction in 2011

Updated: 2012-01-04 17:56


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BEIJING - Chinese exporters faced more trade friction last year in the wake of a volatile global recovery and surging protectionism sentiment, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said Wednesday.

As of December 27, China had faced 67 trade remedy investigations in 2011, involving $5.9 billion, an official with the MOC's Bureau of Fair Trade for Imports and Exports said on the condition of anonymity.

Both the number of the investigations and value involved were at high levels, the official said, adding that most cases touched upon the country's steel as well as mechanical and electrical products.

Trade protection measures came in various forms. Some countries blocked imports from China through technical barriers such as citing safety and environmental standards, while some imposed complex customs and authentication procedures, the official said.

The official noted that the accusations raised by some developed nations over the period were increasingly targeted at China's macroeconomic management, including market access, government procurement, intellectual property rights and export credit.

In 2011, the United States launched 16 probes into alleged intellectual property rights infringements by Chinese companies.

The official said China is likely to encounter more trade barriers this year, as trade protectionism sentiment in developed nations has far exceeded the level at the beginning of 2009, following the outburst of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Meanwhile, some industries in developing economies, which are traditionally vulnerable to trade protectionism, began to ask for government intervention, the official added.