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Report: Trade firms face more barriers
By Dai Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-20 01:02

The Ministry of Commerce is set to issue a foreign market access report Thursday which sums up trade and investment environment of Chinese companies in the country's 19 major trading partners.

An official from the ministry's Bureau of Fair Trade for Import and Export, said the report shows the ministry's concern regarding foreign countries' trade barriers against Chinese companies and aim to eliminate them through bilateral or multilateral negotiations.

The report shows that major trading partners use trade remedies, technical standards, quarantine and quality inspections, intellectual property rights, customs procedures, environmental protection and labour standards as trade barriers against Chinese export and investment.

The United States, European Union and Japan take up the largest portion of the annual report, which was first issued last year.

The report said there are many discriminatory provisions against Chinese products in many US laws.

Unfair investigations also work as barriers to China's exports to the United States.

The United States launched nine anti-dumping investigations and two product-specific safeguard investigations involving Chinese exports last year.

The US restriction on exports of three Chinese textile products caused great concerns. China and the United States have held two rounds of consultations about this matter, without any agreement.

The report said US implementation procedures lack determination on basic concepts such as market disruption, which do not conform with basic requirements set forth by Paragraph 242 of the WTO agreement.

For the European Union, the report said China is concerned about the effect of its two directives governing disposal of waste electric and electronic products, which was issued last year and will take effect in August 2005.

The ministry has been keeping in touch with the relevant EU agencies and is particularly concerned over cost sharing of historical waste disposal.

The ministry is also closely following a EU draft of registration and evaluation of chemicals, which will influence US$3 billion in exports.

The report also said another change related to chemicals has been issued in Japan.

The amendment to the Chemical Substance Control Law kicked in on April 1, 2004.

The official said technical standards, especially on farm produce and foods, have big impact on China's exports.

These standards, though intended to safeguard people's health, are often used for trade protection.

The 19 countries in the 2003 report account for 70 per cent of China's total foreign trade last year.

They include Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Viet Nam.

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