HTML _ RS20570 - Trade Remedies and The U.S.-China Bilateral WTO Accession Agreement
21-Jul-2000; William H. Cooper; 3 p.

Abstract: The November 1999 U.S.-China bilateral agreement on China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) addresses a range of U.S. foreign trade and investment concerns related to China's entry into the WTO. In particular, U.S. import-sensitive industries are wary of the impact from increased imports that might result from China's WTO membership. The bilateral agreement allows the United States to continue to use, at least temporarily, special trade remedy procedures against surges of imports and against dumped and subsidized imports from China that it has used since the two countries reestablished trade relations in 1980. These procedures are more favorable to U.S. import-sensitive industries than those normally used in trade with other established WTO members. They are viewed by some observers as a policy tool not only to cushion the potentially adverse impact of increased China trade on U.S. industries but also to garner support for the pending legislation to grant China permanent normal-trade-relations (PNTR). The safeguard provision of the trade remedies has been made part of (H.R. 4444), a bill to grant China PNTR, which the House passed (237-197) on May 24, 2000. The Senate is expected to begin debate on similar legislation (S. 2277) the week of July 24, 2000. This report examines the trade remedy provisions of the U.S.-China bilateral agreement in relation to the relevant U.S. trade laws and to WTO agreements and principles. It will also examine the potential impact of these provisions on U.S.-China trade and their legislative implications. For more information see CRS Issue Brief IB91121, U.S.-China Trade Issues. This report will be updated as events warrant.After long, drawn out negotiations, the United States and China in November 1999 reached an agreement on conditions for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The U.S.-China Bilateral Agreement on WTO Accession (hereafter referred to as the Bilateral Agreement) is part of the series of bilateral and multilateral negotiations that any country or customs territory must go through with WTO-member trading partners in applying to join the WTO. (2) The Bilateral Agreement addresses U.S. concerns about China's treatment of U.S. exports of agricultural and manufactured goods and of U.S. services in China's domestic market and about U.S. investments in China. (3) In addition, and perhaps most critically for import-sensitive industries, the agreement allows the United States to employ measures to remedy the adverse price effects on U.S. industries of some imports from China. (4) As Congress debates whether to grant China permanent normal-trade-relations status (PNTR), the issue of whether the trade remedies in the Bilateral Agreement provide sufficient protection to U.S. import-sensitive industries may arise. On May 17, 2000, the House Ways and Means Committee ordered favorably reported H.R. 4444 which contains safeguard provisions. (See Legislation section.) [read report]

Topics: International, Economics & Trade, International Finance

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