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'We will deal with complaint as per WTO rules'– Commerce Ministry

Dec '08
It is more than likely now, that the United States is planning to set up obstacles against exports of Chinese enterprises by implementing trade relief or technical barriers in order to put brakes on the ever increasing clothing exports from China.

Recently the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) had announced that it will publish a statistical report on imports of Chinese textiles and clothing every two weeks, starting from December 1, 2008, aimed at monitoring the number of related Chinese products being shipped in to the country.

Earlier, from November 20, 2008, the US government has made it mandatory to provide combustibility performance test report to the U.S. Customs. This policy measure is mainly related to safety performance requirements of infants and children's clothing.

Now, the United States had filed a complaint in the WTO on December 19, calling for an end to China's subsidies measures. Amongst the products are textiles, clothing, refrigerators, beer, peanuts, and so on. The US has provided to the WTO, the list of subsidies the Chinese government has provided to its enterprises.

The list includes cash incentives for exports, preferential loans for exporters, research and development finance for new export products and providing financial allocations in order to reduce export credit insurance.

An official from the Treaty and Law Department of the Ministry of Commerce, China commenting on the request by the United States and Mexico to put an end to subsidies on China's textile and garment industry said that, “China has always respected the rules of World Trade Organization and opposes trade protectionism, China will deal with the consultation request by Mexico and America in accordance with WTO rules.”

China's WTO Mission Counselor Mr. Lu Xian Kun commenting on the issue said, “The Chinese side will reply to the request by Mexico and America within ten days of the consultation time.” Consultations usually last for 60 days in accordance with WTO dispute settlement procedures.

"These kinds of complaints among WTO members are very normal; we will also file complaint if we face such problems. Though, it is difficult to say what effect it will bring to Sino-US trade, it will have no impact on other subsidy measures," Mr Kun added by saying.

Mr. Liu Ting, Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau of Wenzhou City raised a valid point when he asked of the US as to why should not the government provide help to the enterprises, when they are facing a crisis of survival. Mr Ting believes these measures from the government are necessary in the circumstances when enterprises are facing crisis.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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