| WASHINGTON, March 31
WASHINGTON, March 31 The Trump administration on
Friday slammed China on a range of trade issues from its chronic
industrial overcapacity to forced technology transfers and
long-standing bans on U.S. beef and electronic payment services.
The annual trade barriers list from the U.S. Trade
Representative's office sets up more areas of potential
irritation for the first face-to-face meeting between President
Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week in
USTR, controlled by the White House, said that Chinese
government industrial policies and financial support for
industries such as steel and aluminum have resulted in
over-production and a flood of exports that have distorted
global markets and undermined competitive companies.
"While China has begun to take steps to address steel excess
capacity, these steps have been inadequate to date and even
fewer efforts have been taken by China in aluminium and other
sectors," USTR said in the report.
The USTR released the list of trade irritants in 63
countries just after senior Trump trade officials announced an
executive order to study the causes of U.S. trade deficits.
The report said China also is using a series of
cybersecurity restrictions as part of an apparent long-term goal
to replace foreign information and communications technology
products and services with locally produced versions.
USTR also accused China of using a range of measures to
engineer the transfer of foreign technology to local firms. It
said these include denying financial or regulatory approvals to
companies using foreign-owned intellectual property or that do
not conduct research or manufacture products in China.
"China also reportedly conditions foreign investment
approvals on technology transfer to Chinese entities, mandates
adverse licensing terms on foreign IP licensors, uses
anti-monopoly laws to extract technology on unreasonable terms
and subsidizes acquisition of foreign high technology firms to
bring technology to the Chinese parent companies."
Gaps in IP rights enforcement have allowed the
misappropriation of foreign IP and trade secrets, both within
and outside of China.
USTR's criticisms are consistent with increasingly vocal
concerns raised by international business groups about what they
see as a worsening business climate for foreign firms in China,
as well as China's goal to boost domestic manufacturing content
in 10 sectors from robotics to biopharmaceuticals.
Earlier this month, the European Union Chamber of Commerce
said the "Made in China 2025" plan amounts to a "large-scale
import substitution plan aimed at nationalizing key industries"
or "severely curtailing the position of foreign business."
USTR also brought up longstanding complaints about online
piracy of movies, books, music, video games and software in
China as well as a ban on U.S. beef that has been in place since
It said delays in China's approval process for agricultural
products derived from biotechnology also worsened in 2016,
hurting U.S. corn exports.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Michael Perry)