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China, US should resolve issues through discussions, commerce ministry says

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A US cargo ship docks at the Qingdao Port in China’s Shandong province. CHINA DAILY

China, US should resolve issues through discussions, commerce ministry says

China and the US should resolve each other’s legitimate concerns through dialogue and consultation on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, the Ministry of Commerce said on April 1.

Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said: “As the world’s two largest economies, the essence of economic and trade relations between China and the US is mutually beneficial and win-win.”

China always opposes unilaterally imposing tariffs, because that is not good for it, the US, or the world, he said, commenting on recent remarks by the new US trade representative.

US trade representative Katherine Tai told the Wall Street Journal that the US is not ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, but might be open to trade negotiations.

Responding to queries about media statements that Australia is planning to seek the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) intervention in the wine issue, Gao said, anti-dumping duties on Australian wine were imposed in accordance with the country’s legal procedures and WTO rules.

China decided to impose anti-dumping duties ranging from 116.2 per cent to 218.4 per cent on Australian wine for a period of five years, starting on March 28. Australian wines had been subsidised and sold below market price. The subsidy rate is between 6.3 per cent and 6.4 per cent, and to avoid double taxation, China has decided not to impose anti-subsidy tax.

Investigations have shown that dumping of imported Australian wines had caused substantial damages to the Chinese wine industry, Gao said.

Tu Xinquan, professor and dean of the China Institute for WTO Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, said China has always been faithful to multilateralism and free trade.

The country is very cautious in imposing anti-dumping duties, he said, adding that it would be good if China and the US resolve disputes through dialogue and consultations based on mutual respect and equal treatment.

Tu said: “No matter, if the disputes are on tariffs or some other issues, as long as the two parties are open to dialogue and consultation, there is still hope of avoiding imposing tariffs unilaterally.”

He said China’s anti-dumping measures against Australian wines are as per established legal procedure, as evidence from the probe has demonstrated that dumping and subsidies occurred in the case of Australian wines.

Speaking about the Suez Canal blockage, Gao said China will work with other nations to smooth cross-border logistics issues so as to ensure the stability of the global industrial and supply chains.

As traffic in the Suez Canal slowly returns to normalcy, China should pay close attention to follow-up developments, he said.

Although the Suez Canal blockage has affected shipments of some Chinese enterprises, and caused fluctuations to a certain extent in related freight rates, the impact on China’s foreign trade is sudden, short-term, and limited, said Gao.



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