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August 31, 2020

USTR Seeking Input By September 16 On China And Its WTO Obligations

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is calling for input for its annual report to Congress on China’s implementation of commitments made in connection with its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The USTR said it wants information regarding “unresolved compliance issues that warrant review and evaluation by USTR’s China Enforcement Task Force.”

It also would like information regarding:

  • Trading rights;
  • Import regulation (e.g., tariffs, tariff-rate quotas, quotas, import licenses);
  • 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;
  • Rule of law issues (e.g., transparency, judicial review, uniform administration of laws and regulations) and status of legal reform; and
  • Any other WTO commitments.

Written comments are due September 16, 2020. Click here to learn more.

In related news: senior U.S. and Chinese officials have continued to affirm that the “phase one” trade pact between the two countries is still on track. Indeed, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a planned call on the evening of August 24 to review implementation of the agreement.

According to a report from the National Association of Manufacturers, the call appeared to go smoothly, with broad discussions about China’s status in implementing structural barriers in areas such as intellectual property rights and market access as well as discussion of progress made and progress needed on purchases. After the call, the USTR issued a statement that said, “Both sides see progress and are committed.”

According to The New York Times, the Chinese government said there was “constructive dialogue” in which both parties “agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue pushing forward the implementation of the trade deal.”