As the first session of the 110th Congress approaches its August recess, members of Congress have intensified their focus on China. When the session began in January, the Democratic majority made addressing international trade imbalances a priority. As a result, members of both the Senate and House have introduced legislation aimed at China.
China Market Intelligence
The PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and General Administration of Customs on July 23 jointly issued Announcement 44, adding 1,853 commodity categories to the Catalogue on Restricted Processing Trade Commodities. Products in the catalogue, which include plastics, textiles, and furniture, face import and export restrictions.
The PRC National Development and Reform Commission in July officially released a comprehensive plan for the development of China's high-tech industries through 2010.
US government officials have been ramping up their preparations for the upcoming annual US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which will take place this fall in Beijing. Ira Kasoff, deputy assistant secretary for Asia, US Department of Commerce (DOC), recently traveled to China to meet with PRC officials to initiate JCCT agenda discussions.
Driven by surging exports and fixed-asset investment, China's economy roared ahead in the first half of 2007, growing 11.5 percent--the fastest rate since 1994 (see Table). Rising food prices, particularly for pork, pushed inflation to 3.2 percent in the first half.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a Paris-based intergovernmental body focused on combating money laundering, on June 28 voted to elevate China from observer to member status, a move that followed the recent release of PRC regulations to prevent money laundering (see below).
The PRC State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) on July 10 released the revised Administrative Measures for Drug Registration after twice soliciting comments from industry and the public in spring 2007.
Changes in China's value-added tax (VAT) rebate regime for exports have had a significant impact on processing trade companies and companies located in export-processing zones (EPZs), according to US-China Business Council (USCBC) sources.