WASHINGTON - United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today issued the following statement regarding recent news reports about the commitments China made on the issue of insurance and market access, as part of their accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO):
"China made commitments on insurance as part of its bilateral accession agreement with the United States. These commitments will be incorporated into China's WTO accession agreement, and therefore would be applicable for all WTO members. We expect China to uphold all of its commitments and obligations."
In November 1999 the United States and China agreed on a bilateral market access agreement that sets the terms for China's entry into the WTO. As part of this agreement, China specifically made a commitment that any conditions of ownership, operation and scope of activities, as set out in a foreign firm's contract, shareholder agreement, or in license, would not be made more restrictive than they exist as of the date of China's accession to the WTO. China also agreed to permit foreign insurance firms to branch throughout China, following a timetable set out in China's accession documents.