WASHINGTON (DTN)-- China has many hurdles to clear in a short space of time to convince the world it will honor commitments made under World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, the chief U.S. agriculture trade negotiator said on Dec. 18, Reuters reports.
"China's credibility and role as a leader is going to be tested by these difficult and complicated implementation decisions in the coming weeks and months," Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Allen Johnson told a news conference.
"We recognize that the transition for China is going to be very difficult, that there are many challenges that they face," he said following meetings with Chinese officials.
The U.S. would closely monitor the implementation process including the elimination of export subsidies, the tariff-rate quota (TRQ) administration as well as the uniform application of a value added tax, he said.
It was also key that China ensured that there was no discrimination against importers and that there was uniformity in the implementation of laws in the country, he said.
China's deadline to implement by the beginning of the year the TRQ system and issue related regulations on time remained a concern, he said.
China must adopt the TRQ system now that it has entered the world trade body and allow big, specified increases in imports of agricultural goods, together with lower duties.
But the growing consensus among Asian traders--most of them experienced skeptics about dealings with China--is that China will import only what it wants, regardless of WTO agreements.
Johnson said the U.S. had urged China to be transparent in its development of biotechnology regulations in keeping with international practice and allow for an adequate review period in its consultations with other countries.
China had not yet given any timeline for when it would release details of its long-awaited rules on genetically modified organisms (GMO), he said.
China's Ministry of Agriculture said last month it was delaying the issue of the details but did not say when they would be published.
Beijing announced rules on GMOs on June 6, requiring government approval for all production, sale and imports of GMO foods.
Safety certificates stating that the products are not harmful to humans, animals or the environment are also required.
But Beijing has failed to offer details how they would be implemented. Resulting confusion over the rules had brought order of U.S cargoes--70% of which are bio-engineered--to a virtual halt as buyers worried cargoes might not pass the strict regulations.