China denies introducing protectionism

28 June 2009

29 June 2009 | Jake Kanter

The Chinese government has rejected the claim it introduced "protectionist" measures in its 4.5 trillion yuan (£400 billion) stimulus package.

Minister of commerce Chen Deming [pictured] said last Friday the country had no plans to give preferential treatment to locally supplied goods and services, according to a report on state media website Xinhua.

Earlier this month the Chinese government issued an order requiring public bodies to purchase "domestically" made products for economic stimulus projects and insisted imports had to be approved. But on Friday Deming said Western media agencies were wrong to assume it was an act of protectionism and the term "domestic" included foreign-funded suppliers based in China.

"China applied to join the World Trade Organization's (WTO) agreement on government procurement a couple of years ago, which allowed member countries to bid on each other's government tenders," he said.

"We hope China might join the agreement soon so as to further open up the government procurement market." Meanwhile, the US complained to the WTO last week about limits China had placed on raw material exports. US trade ambassador Ron Kirk said there was a "major problem" with China "unfairly restricting exports of raw materials" (Web news, 25 June 2009).

SMjun2009

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