Bei­jing to take ‘mea­sures’ if rights are de­nied

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS -

China will take “nec­es­sary mea­sures” to de­fend its le­gal rights if World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion mem­bers con­tinue to use a non-mar­ket econ­omy clause to as­sess dump­ing tar­iffs against it, a Min­istry of Com­merce spokesman said on Fri­day.

As a con­di­tion for be­ing

Chill­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

ad­mit­ted to the WTO, China agreed in 2001 that other mem­bers could treat it as a “non­mar­ket econ­omy” for 15 years, end­ing on Dec 11, Sun­day.

Un­der this sta­tus, trad­ing part­ners may use a sur­ro­gate coun­try whose eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion is sim­i­lar to China’s as a ref­er­ence when de­ter­min­ing whether China is dump­ing in their coun­tries.

Shen Danyang, the Min­istry of Com­merce spokesman, said at a news con­fer­ence on Fri­day that China op­poses con­tin­ued use of the sys­tem in an­tidump­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions against China. “Some of the WTO mem­bers have not ex­pressed ex­plic­itly that they will ob­serve the 15th clause in an at­tempt to keep us­ing the sur­ro­gate coun­try sys­tem. We ex­pect them to abide by the rules,” Shen said. The 15 th clause out­lines when the sur­ro­gate sys­tem is in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

An­a­lysts said China could takes mea­sures rang­ing from fil­ing pe­ti­tions to re­tal­i­at­ing in the dis­pute, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts. Chen Xin, di­rec­tor of the busi­ness depart­ment of the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sci­ences’ In­sti­tute of Euro­pean Stud­ies, said China may ap­peal to the WTO.

“If the WTO rules that these coun­tries have breached the terms of the agree­ment, they will have to pay for the losses Chi­nese com­pa­nies have suf­fered in the anti-dump­ing cas- es. Mean­while, China may re­tal­i­ate by im­pos­ing higher taxes on im­ports from these coun­tries,” Chen said.

Chen said the anti-dump­ing cases against China in the Euro­pean Union ac­count for 2 per­cent of the to­tal trad­ing vol­ume be­tween the two sides. It does more harm than good if other trad­ing sec­tors are hurt be­cause of the an­tidump­ing cases.

Mei Xinyu, a re­searcher at the Com­merce Min­istry’s Chi­nese Acad­emy of In­ter­na­tion- al Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, said that even if some coun­tries la­bel China as a non-mar­ket econ­omy, it won’t af­fect China’s sta­tus as a lead­ing coun­try in trad­ing.

“China has grown into a ma­jor ex­porter to many coun­tries even though it has been treated as a non-mar­ket econ­omy for years. Anti-dump­ing cases won’t have much im­pact on China’s over­all trad­ing vol­ume. On the other hand, pro­tec­tion­ism will only make the lo­cal busi­nesses even weaker in com­pe­ti­tion,” he said.

In re­sponse to the Ja­panese po­si­tion on the is­sue, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said that Ja­pan needs to ob­serve its obli­ga­tion and stop us­ing the sur­ro­gate coun­try sys­tem in anti-dump­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions against China as of Mon­day.

“China has be­come the largest trad­ing part­ner of a lot of coun­tries,” said Lu Kang, a For­eign Min­istry spokesman. “China’s mar­ket econ­omy sta­tus is non-de­ni­able whether Ja­pan rec­og­nizes it or not.”

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