United Kingdom

China’s WTO Trade Policy Review: UK Statement

Thank you, Chair.

UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelian has asked me to thank the Chair and debater Ambassador Murumbi Peter for facilitating this review of trade policy. We would like to thank the WTO Secretariat for their efforts in preparing the report. We would also like to extend our heartfelt welcome to the Chinese delegation led by Minister Wang Wentao and Deputy Minister Wang Wentao, and of course to the team here in Geneva.

As others have said, 20 years have passed since China joined the WTO, during which time the world trade situation has changed. And as others have pointed out, China’s share of world trade is expected to jump from about 8.5% to almost 11% in the decade to 2019 and to another 12% by 2030. .. It has contributed to China’s growth and has rescued millions of people from poverty. On behalf of the United Kingdom, I would like to congratulate China on behalf of the United Kingdom for its important achievements.

All of this is possible with an open, rule-based, transparent and non-discriminatory global trading system. We, like everyone else, appear to play a full and responsible role in supporting this arrangement, including agreeing to make promises commensurate with China’s development level and economic strength. Therefore, in the context of fishery subsidy negotiations mentioned by others, I have heard that China does not intend to adopt a wide range of special and discriminatory treatment. We greatly welcome that direction and look forward to seeing how that commitment is embodied through negotiations here at the WTO and in fact a wide range of discussions.

We recognize the recent progress China has made to open its market to international trade and investment. We welcome China’s involvement in investment facilitation, JSI on e-commerce and domestic regulation, and multilateral initiatives such as trade and health initiatives, informal dialogue on plastic pollution and environmentally sustainable plastics-all. Good initiative. The changes China has made for reform and liberalization will, in our view, benefit both WTO member states and the Chinese people. It also supports China’s own economic development.

The success of its economic development means that China has reached a stage where it needs to accelerate the pace, scale and implementation of market opening. This will give more meaning to China’s own demands for an open, rules-based, transparent and non-discriminatory trading system.

Chair Madam-if possible-here I would like to focus on some areas where we believe that China needs attention and action.

First, Chinese companies continue to enjoy a much higher level of access in foreign markets than foreign companies enjoy in China. This lack of reciprocity is accompanied by a growing awareness of injustice among many WTO members, which should also be a concern for China.

The challenge is not just one of formal market access. Despite improved detection and seizure of infringing goods, counterfeit goods (for example) continue to be produced and exported at high levels. Foreign companies are concerned about equal treatment with local companies, inconsistent regulatory application, subjective licensing, opaque phytosanitary requirements, hidden subsidies, and restricted public procurement. Continues to report.

As the Secretariat’s report reveals to us, the scale of China’s government support program for the economic and industrial sectors is in favor of China and detrimental to free and fair international trade with foreign companies. It can significantly distort the market.

Second, like any other company, we are concerned about the centrality of state-owned enterprises in China’s industrial strategy and the uncertainty of its business. These SOEs are around 326,000, accounting for more than 20 of the 25 largest companies in China. Its market advantage and the way it operates such SOEs are detrimental to both domestic private sectors and foreign investors. In this regard, recall that China has promised not to interfere with the operation and management of state-owned enterprises through its Membership Protocol (and since it was repeated in the Chinese government’s report to the WTO prior to this review).

For us, China’s responsibility is much more transparent in demonstrating that such companies are acting as regular market players.

Indeed, increased transparency is the key to increasing confidence in China’s policy intent. With that in mind, we promised the Chinese government to publish all the materials related to the three-year reform plan for state-owned enterprises, what the government directs and what it directs. Ask to clarify if not.

Staying on the same topic of transparency, we also share concerns raised by other members about China’s continued lack of compliance with its obligations for transparency under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countermeasures.

Chair Madam, we would like to emphasize that we are closely monitoring reports that China’s trade behavior is deliberately targeting commodities in some countries for political reasons. Market participants draw their own conclusions. But in the long run, such behavior undermines market confidence that China really wants an open, rules-based, transparent and non-discriminatory system. This is another area where China can take more transparent actions.

Finally, forced labor is unacceptable, regardless of where and when it occurs. Therefore, we urge China to ratify and effectively implement the ILO Forced Labor Convention, including the 2014 Protocol and the abolition of the Forced Labor Convention. We will continue to monitor China’s actions through the WTO and ILO.

In conclusion: Chair: China’s transformation over the last two decades has been remarkable, and China should appreciate it. However, as a trading superpower, China now has a special responsibility to ensure free and fair trade. As part of that, the UK looks forward to continuing to work with China with a shared sense of responsibility to protect and strengthen its multilateral trading system.

China’s WTO Trade Policy Review: UK Statement

SourceChina’s WTO Trade Policy Review: UK Statement

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