The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

U.S.: China makes progress on trade rules, concerns remain

At the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva today, China underwent the eighth and final review of the agricultural trade policy required under its 2001 membership agreement to join the organization, a source close to the WTO has told The Hagstrom Report.

At the review, which was conducted by the WTO Agriculture Committee, delegates from the United States, the European Union and Japan praised China for the progress it has made in implementing its commitments, but noted that some concerns still remain, the source said.

The U.S. delegate said that while China has opened its markets more and has made its rules and regulations more public, some areas still lack transparency. The delegate also said China should reconsider non-tariff barriers such as discriminating when applying value-added tax.

The EU delegate also asked for more transparency, and the Japanese delegate urged China not to reintroduce export taxes and restrictions.

The delegate from Pakistan said China’s use of investment under the Green Box (domestic support that does not distort trade) has helped China meet its millennium development goals and is a good example to other countries.

The Chinese delegate pledged that the country will continue to improve market access and increase its agricultural trade, the source said.

China is scheduled to undergo a final agricultural review after 10 years of membership. The WTO Agriculture Committee regularly reviews member countries’ compliance with WTO rules and is not the same as the committee that is negotiating the Doha round agreement.