Several recent developments indicate that the PRC government's current emphasis on the environment may have emboldened the PRC State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) to flex its muscles.
China Market Intelligence
The total US trade deficit in goods and services fell for a third consecutive month in November 2006, reaching $58.2 billion, the lowest since July 2005, according to a recent report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and US Census Bureau. The November 2006 year-to-date deficit, however, was up 7.5 percent, reaching $701.6 billion.
In a follow-up to the news that the PRC National People's Congress (NPC) completed its second review of the draft Labor Contract Law, the US-China Business Council's (USCBC) Beijing office this week obtained a copy of the revised draft Labor Contract Law from the Legislative Affairs Office (LAO) of the NPC.
USCBC last week hosted a luncheon in honor of PRC Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, who traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the state funeral of late US President Gerald Ford and to meet US government counterparts.
In a step toward national treatment in its tax regime, the PRC State Council recently revised a land use tax policy and consolidated vehicle and vessel tax policies, giving foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) the same tax treatment once accorded to domestic enterprises.
The PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the State Administration of Taxation last week jointly released the Catalogue of Encouraged Technology Transfers to supplement the State Council's Medium-to-Long Term Development Plan for Science and Technology (2006-20), which was issued in February 2006.
China's trade in electronic and machinery products accounted for more than half of China's total trade from January to November 2006, according to a MOFCOM report. Exports of standard electronic and machinery products increased, while processing trade exports slowed during that period.
The Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) met December 24-29, 2006 to review key legislation.
After receiving an unprecedented 190,000 comment submissions--including one from the US-China Business Council (USCBC)--for the draft Labor Contract Law during the public comment period in March 2006, the Standing Committee of the 10th NPC reviewed a revised draft of the law in its December session.
The PRC National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently issued a notice on restructuring China's domestic auto industry to control overinvestment in the sector.