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WTO NEWS: 2001 NEWS ITEMS

4 July 2001
Meeting of the Working Party on the accession of China

Summing Up by the Chairman

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> Moore welcomes progress on China accession to WTO
> China's statement



I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Delegation of China and Members of the Working Party to this 16th Meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of China.

There should be little doubt in anyone's mind that this particular session of the Working Party has been a very productive one, allowing us to reach substantial and positive conclusions on a large number of the outstanding issues. For this I am grateful to all delegations, but let me take this opportunity to particularly thank the Plurilateral Chairs for their major contributions to the results we can register today. Members and China engaged constructively and intensively to resolve difficult points of difference, with very positive outcomes.

Let me, then, enumerate the areas where we have achieved substantial results in our informal discussions over the past few days, discussions which took place both at the plurilateral and at the multilateral level.

I will begin by listing those areas where we have effectively completed the work of producing multilaterally agreed texts.

Anti-dumping/Countervailing Measures. Here we now have agreement on a multilateral text for the Draft Working Party Report. This text complements that already finalized in the Draft Protocol.

Industrial Policy, including Subsidies. On Industrial Policy, we also now have a completed text for the Draft Working Party Report, resolving what had proved to be a difficult area for some delegations.

Judicial Review, Uniform Administration and Transparency. This area is also now finalized, following some consultations in which the issues of uniform administration and transparency were revisited. There is now complete text on these areas for the Draft Working Party Report. The corresponding Draft Protocol provisions had already been resolved last autumn.

Product-Specific Safeguard/Textiles. In this area, members of the Working Party and China agreed the final version of a text for the Draft Report. The agreed language gives additional clarification to the procedures to be followed by WTO Members in cases where they may invoke the transitional safeguard established in the Draft Protocol.

Quantitative Import Restrictions, including Prohibitions and Quotas. Also here, we were able to finalize the text for this section of the Draft Working Party Report.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. In the area of SPS, an issue not previously the subject of plurilateral discussions, members of the Working Party and China have been able to report completion of texts for both the Draft Protocol and the Draft Working Party Report.

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. I am pleased to report that here, as well, informal plurilateral discussions have allowed us to finalize the section of the Draft Working Party Report dealing with TRIPS.

Technical Barriers to Trade. Members of the Working Party and China have also finalized texts for both the Draft Protocol and the Draft Working Party Report in this complex area of our work.

Trading Rights. As well on trading rights, I am happy to note that we have multilaterally agreed text for the Draft Working Party Report, text which complements and clarifies the related agreed text of the Draft Protocol.

Transitional Review Mechanism. After some very intensive efforts, we now also have a completed Draft Protocol text, with accompanying annexes, on the Transitional Review Mechanism.

Agriculture. I am also happy to report the latest developments to you. There have been very intensive consultations between the most interested parties in the field of agriculture and I understand that a text has been agreed. I am confident now that we have an agreement on the outstanding issues which will satisfy the entire Membership of the Working Party. Copies of that text will be available to Members very soon.

Then there are a couple of areas where work is essentially complete but where a little more time will be necessary in order to resolve a very few outstanding issues. They are as follows.

Tariff-Rate Quotas. Text has been consolidated for the Draft Working Party Report. Work on the Headnotes has substantially progressed and will be completed shortly.

Services. Texts for the Draft Working Party Report have basically been agreed. Only one specific issue remains to be resolved, on which consultations are under way.

This, then, is a brief summary of the major areas of work in which we have been able to reach important and solid results. On the basis of these new, multilaterally agreed texts, and those agreed at the meetings last autumn, I will ask the Secretariat to prepare revisions to both the Draft Working Party Report and Draft Protocol, for circulation to the Working Party in advance of our next meeting.

What then remains to be done? We will need to give careful examination to the many draft Annexes to the Draft Protocol. I should point out once again, however, that this should be done on the basis of updated and revised drafts to be submitted by China. It will be important for China to submit these updates and revisions in advance of the next meeting.

Included in these Annexes is Annex 8 dealing with restrictions to be maintained against China. It is now time for WTO Members who intend to maintain such restrictions on a transitional basis to address the phase-out of such restrictions in consultation with the Chinese delegation. This needs to be done on an urgent basis, and the results of these consultations formally notified to the Secretariat for completion of the Annex.

Also included in these Annexes are the Goods and Services Schedules detailing China's market-access commitments on Goods and Services. As you well know, this is an area still requiring considerable work, both to allow the Secretariat to finalize the consolidation of the these Schedules and then to allow time for their verification by WTO Members.

At the next meeting we will, as well, need to conduct a thorough and careful examination of the revised Working Party Draft Report and Draft Protocol. The Secretariat will make every effort to ensure that you have the revised documents sufficiently in advance of the next meeting.

Which brings me to the final point I wish to make in this formal meeting: the scheduling of the next meeting of the Working Party. On the basis of consultations I have held, it is my intention to convene the next meeting of the Working Party in the week of 16 July. I am very aware of how short a period this leaves between two very critical sessions, but if we have as our objective to conclude the work of this Working Party by the autumn, we really have no other choice than to come back to Geneva in the very near future.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all participants for their constructive and very positive approach to this session of the Working Party. This has allowed us to register very decisive progress. This, then, constitutes my report to you all.

The floor is open.

Thank you. I wish you a safe journey home and look forward to seeing you again shortly.

The meeting is adjourned.