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USTR Seeks Input on Foreign Trade Barriers, Mainland China’s WTO Compliance

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is seeking public input on foreign trade barriers as well as mainland China’s compliance with its World Trade Organisation accession commitments. On the one hand, USTR announced on 24 August the procedures for submitting comments for the National Trade Estimates Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, an annual report that covers trade barriers affecting U.S. exports to all major markets. Interested parties have until 30 October to submit written comments and the report will also draw on submissions from U.S. embassies throughout the world. 

Separately, USTR will hold a hearing on 3 October and is seeking public input by 19 September on mainland China’s compliance with its WTO accession commitments. Since mainland China’s accession to the WTO on 11 December 2001, USTR is required under section 421 of the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 to submit a report to Congress on mainland China’s compliance with its WTO accession commitments. These include multi-lateral commitments as well as bi-lateral commitments made to the United States. USTR is seeking comments on the following subjects:

  • trading rights;
  • import regulation (e.g., tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, quotas, import licences);
  • export regulation;
  • internal policies affecting trade (e.g., subsidies, standards and technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, government procurement, trade-related investment measures, taxes and charges levied on imports and exports);
  • intellectual property rights (including intellectual property rights enforcement);
  • services; and
  • rule of law issues (e.g., transparency, judicial review, uniform administration of laws and regulations) and status of legal reform.

USTR is requesting parties to specifically identify unresolved compliance issues that warrant review and evaluation by its China Enforcement Task Force.

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