Mon, November 09, 2009
Business > Industries

More than 90% surveyed accuse US of ruining freedom of trade with China

2009-11-09 12:49:46 GMT2009-11-09 20:49:46 (Beijing Time)  Global Times

A recent survey conducted by huanqiu.com shows that more than 90 percent of web users believe the US is seriously ruining the principle of freedom of international trade.(Photo: Global Times)

The unprecedented and increased trade protectionism measures the US has launched against China recently have triggered a strong fury of protest among the Chinese public. A recent survey conducted by huanqiu.com shows that more than 90 percent of web users believe the US is seriously ruining the principle of freedom of international trade.

These aggressive trade protectionism measures are happening just before the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama to China on November 15. The Chinese government is voicing strong opposition to these actions.

According to the survey on trade disputes between China and the US conducted by huanqiu.com, the US trade protectionism measures sparked strong dissatisfaction among the Chinese public. The majority of Chinese Internet users support their government's attitude towards the US's measures and believe what the US has done has seriously ruined the freedom of international trade principle.

The poll revealed 88.7 percent of those surveyed said that the multiple punitive trade actions the US launched against China are actually is a measure for the Obama government to put pressure on Chinese trade, while only 9.9 percent insisted that these were normal trade frictions.

And 92.2 percent in the survey believed that what the US did has ruined the freedom of international trade principle, while 3.6 percent did not think so, and the remaining 4.3 percent were not sure.

As for the trade trends of the two countries, 63.6 percent of those surveyed worried that the current situation may lead to a trade war between the two countries in the future, and 24.4 percent thought that frictions can be resolved through negotiations between the two countries, while 8.6 percent thought the situation can improve through the WTO dispute settlement panel.

As for Obama's upcoming visit to China, the Chinese also believe that their government also needs to bargain with the US president during his visit, as four out of five in random interviews conducted by the Global Times, believe this issue needs to be brought up. Meanwhile, trade protectionism is the problem they are most concerned about.

The US government's trade action against China appeared in an unprecedented frequency recently. On November 6, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) passed three anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations into China-imported products, including coated paper, three types of salts, namely, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, monopotassium phosphate, and dipotassium phosphate and standard steel fasteners.

Yao Jian, spokesman of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said the US was denying China's market economy status and took discriminative measures to impose anti-dumping duties on China-imported products, exerting a serious impact on Chinese exports, when responding to the three investigations Friday. He pointed out that China strongly opposed this kind of "abuse of protectionism" and will take all measures to protect the interests of domestic industries.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, the US has initiated more trade probes into China this year. In the first nine months, the US launched 14 investigations into Chinese exports, with a total value worth $5.84 billion, or 639 percent year-on-year.

But in the past weeks, the trade protectionism measures that the US launched against China were heating up. The US government decided on a preliminary assessment on Chinese-imported steel wire decking on November 3, and on November 4, the US requested the WTO to establish a dispute settlement panel to rule on China's export restraints on raw materials.

Then on November 5, the US made the preliminary decision of imposing as much as 99 percent in punitive tariffs on China-imported tubular steel goods used in the oil and gas industry, which involves a value of $2.63 billion, the biggest US trade action against China this year.

Chinese trade experts also said that the high frequency of US trade actions against China is rare in the history of the trade protectionism in the world.

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