A Track Record of Results
• China entered the World Trade
Organization (WTO) in 2001 – opening its large and growing market to American goods and services and committing to a series
of sweeping economic reforms.
-- The United States did not reduce a single tariff or make any
other market-opening concessions to China as a result of China’s WTO
• Membership in the global
rules-based trading system subjects China to the same rigorous standards of fairness, transparency and predictability that apply
to the United States and more than 140 other economies around the world.
• The United States is committed to
holding China to its WTO obligations and to making bilateral trade a two-way street.
• China has taken many steps to
meet WTO requirements – repealing or revising more than 1,100 laws and regulations, reducing tariffs, removing market access
barriers, and establishing new transparency procedures.
• But where implementation has
slowed or performance has been incomplete, the United States has acted promptly to achieve results for American farmers,
manufacturers and service providers – using informal consultations where possible and formal
mechanisms where necessary.
• U.S. officials have pressed China
to remove remaining trade barriers and to implement its WTO commitments on schedule. As a result of these efforts, China is moving forward on a range of important
• China has agreed to further open
its market to U.S. agriculture exports.
-- Easing import rules for agricultural commodities, facilitating
record-setting sales of U.S. cotton to China in 2003 (totaling nearly $740 million).
-- Issuing safety certificates for biotech soybeans, allowing for
unprecedented U.S. soybean exports to China in 2003 (totaling nearly $2.9 billion).
-- Ending arbitrary limits on pork and poultry shipments.
-- Adopting U.S.-proposed changes to meat and poultry
• China has agreed to remove
barriers to U.S. exports of manufactured goods, high-technology products and chemicals.
-- Opening the motor vehicle financing sector and easing auto
import quotas, paving the way for increased sales of U.S.-designed and produced automobiles
-- Allowing more U.S. computers, telecommunications equipment and
electronic components to enter its market at reduced or zero duties.
-- Removing preferential tariff treatment for exports from China’s
neighbors of boric acid and approximately 20 other chemicals.
-- Ending the practice of over-valuing U.S. digital media products
for customs purposes and allowing those goods to enter at reduced duties.
• China has agreed to changes that
will further level the playing field for U.S. service providers:
-- Reducing high capitalization requirements for U.S. and other
foreign insurance firms, and increasing the efficiency with which licensing decisions are
-- Stabilizing international telephone interconnection rates.
-- Removing burdensome weight and rate restrictions for express
delivery companies, expanding the ability of U.S. firms to deliver packages into, out
of and within China.
Enforcing WTO Obligations
• Where informal consultations have
not achieved necessary outcomes, the United States has used formal WTO mechanisms.
• On March 18, 2004, the United
States filed its first WTO case against China regarding its refund of value-added tax on integrated circuits produced in China, which
discriminates against U.S. semiconductor exports. Dispute settlement consultations in this
case will commence in Geneva the week of April 26.
• In other cases, the United States
has raised concerns at meetings of the 16 WTO councils and committees and actively used the Transitional Review Mechanism – a
special multilateral mechanism at the WTO – to review China’s implementation of its
• It has also used consultations
pursuant to a special provision of China’s accession agreement to resolve key U.S. concerns on China’s administration of tariff-rate
quotas for agricultural commodities and related products like cotton, wheat and
"To exercise the responsibility that comes with its new status as a trading
power, China must fully implement the commitments it madeon joining the WTO,"
said Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, February 25, 2004