China Says no Obligations to Follow Go-Beyond WTO Rules


China responded accusations from U.S. on export subsidies and not-obeying rules that it has no obligation to follow rules in any specific country that go beyond international rules, and that the U.S. should discipline itself and correct it own mistakes.

"We follow the rules of the WTO, but we have no obligation to follow laws or regulations in any specific country that go beyond international rules," Commerce minister Chen Deming told a news conference on the sidelines of an annual meeting of parliament.

His comment came after one day after the U.S. Congress passed a controversial bill targeting China, and other countries what it calls "non-market economies." U.S. President Barack Obama is set to sign the bill into law to allow duties to be imposed on subsidized goods from China and Vietnam.

There are a lot of critics recently from the U.S. president, ministers and congressmen, most of them focus on China's "subsidy act," Mr. Chen said, although China has been following the WTO rules, and check with other more than 150 member states in obeying the rules.

"There are all kinds of subsidies in most of the WTO members and everyone has different opinions in understanding those subsidies," Chen said, particularly noting that "The U.S. government had subsidized its companies, like the three big automakers…but China did not criticize these moves or start massive countervailing actions against such moves."

While criticizing China, the U.S. itself failed to obey prevailing rules and even laws in its own country, according to Mr. Chen, referring to the passing of the U.S. trade bill.

A U.S. court ruled in December that the U.S. Commerce Department did not have authority to impose countervailing—or anti-subsidy—duties on goods from "non-market economies."

"While the United States reckons China as a non-market economy; this time around, I am awaiting news from the U.S. Commerce Department—who continuously criticized others for not obeying rules—that it corrects its own mistake," Chen said, "But there isn't."

The bill that U.S. Congress has just passed has also ruled that its effect could be traced back to 2006, which "goes against laws in most countries in the world."

Mr. Chen also said China was open for talks on trade conflict. "Hope that we could carry out talks on the subsidiary issue with those countries who blame China and there could also be communication in the understanding of subsidies on individual cases."

The U.S. critics could be summed up as "you don't follow rules", Mr. Chen said, but they are seldom related to questions such as "which aspect" and "in which ranges".

"China is a big country with a large territory, and if there is some subsidy (actions) in some place, we are willing to negotiate."

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