Washington Update: USCBC Testifies on China’s WTO Track Record

Stephanie Henry

 

Erin Ennis, vice president of the US-China Business Council (USCBC), testified today before the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee on a wide range of issues, including competition enforcement, regulatory transparency, intellectual property rights (IPR), and China’s broader compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.

In her testimony, Ennis said China remains a valuable market for US companies, but one that could be more valuable if market barriers and discriminatory policies were addressed. Ennis also noted slow progress on improving protection of IPR in China, and said China should be adopting “tougher deterrents” as one tactic to combat the issue. On enforcement of China’s Antimonopoly Law, Ennis outlined USCBC's procedural concerns on enforcement, detailed in its 2014 report on Competition Policy and Enforcement in China. She called on government to pursue solutions recommended by USCBC as it engages with China in advance of President Obama’s November visit and December JCCT. 

Ennis also emphasized the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) as an important opportunity for China to address “the unfinished business of China’s WTO accession.” She added that the BIT “must significantly reduce foreign ownership barriers and cover all aspects of China’s economy except a narrow list of excluded sectors,” and said that China should take tangible steps now to prove its seriousness about market openings.