USCIB submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative regarding China’s WTO compliance with its World Trade Organization commitments, raising a broad array of concerns including in the areas of digital, intellectual property rights (IPR), regulatory policies, competition, transparency and standards.
The comments urge the U.S. government to continue to press for a complete suspension of all existing and proposed measures involving trade-restrictive requirements in the digital sector, where China has enacted and enforced a variety of trade-restrictive and overly prescriptive requirements on information technology (IT). In the area of intellectual property, USCIB urges the U.S. government to continue to press for increased protections, as well as enhanced and efficient enforcement options, better coordination and enforcement by Chinese authorities, and more severe penalties for infringement of IPR. The comments add that concerns about Chinese behavior even extend beyond WTO compliance issues to areas such as government procurement.
USCIB also raises concerns over the Section 301 tariffs imposed against Chinese imports, noting that these tariffs have caused harm to domestic industry and done little to date to change Chinese behavior. The tariffs cover over $370 billion in goods, raising the cost of doing business in the United States and increasing prices for U.S. families and workers, a hardship exacerbated by today’s inflationary environment. According to USCIB Director for Investment, Trade and China Alice Slayton Clark, “as these tariffs continue, they create uncertainty for businesses and negatively impact U.S. companies’ ability to invest in their companies to innovate new products, hire more American workers, and remain competitive globally.” It is essential that the United States adopt a robust strategy that does not only rely on the use of punitive tariffs to achieve its objectives with China.
“Engagement with China can be challenging but China’s importance in the global economy provides a strong incentive for the United States to engage on all fronts to find solutions and foster stability and growth in the relationship,” according to Clark. The United States must not only continue to promote U.S. interests in the WTO rules-based international trading order, but also work with allies to address common concerns with respect to China, and work bilaterally with China to resolve challenges.