Rebalancing the Economy - Practical Ways that China Can Increase Imports

Executive Summary

In recent years, China has established a clear goal to rebalance its economy through increasing imports and growing domestic demand. In line with those objectives, the US-China Business Council (USCBC) has developed this paper to identify sector-specific recommendations government officials may consider to achieve these goals. The report covers five issue areas—consumer goods imports, customs procedures, meat imports, the China Compulsory Certificate (CCC) mark system, and advanced agricultural products, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In each area, USCBC has offered suggestions to make importing easier, including:

• Lowering or eliminating import and consumption tariffs on high-end consumer goods, while engaging foreign stakeholders on tax and tariff considerations about these products to fully evaluate the impact of policy and tax decisions.
• Establishing a de minimis value threshold in line with international levels, and bringing Chinese customs standards in line with international customs standards to facilitate trade.
• Lifting restrictions on imports of US beef and certain poultry, and aligning domestic standards on ractopamine levels with international standards.
• Eliminating duplicative procedures in China’s conformity assessment system, and complying with a commitment made at the 2012 US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to allow qualified foreign-invested certification and testing organizations to conduct testing for the CCC mark in China.
• Allowing for concurrent approval for advanced agricultural products, including GMOs; eliminating the zero-tolerance policy and implementing international best practice by establishing a science-based threshold for low-level presence of GMO imports.

Incorporating these recommendations will assist policymakers in achieving their objective to boost imports, while strengthening the overall economy and broadening consumer choice and consumption nationwide.