Law & Order

USTR Issues Reports on China Trade Compliance and e-commerce Platforms

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued its annual report on China’s compliance with the commitments made in 2001 to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). This year’s report focuses on China’s failure to implement many of the significant commitments made in the Phase One trade agreement signed in January 2020. Consequently, there was no indication in the report that the Biden Administration will lift any of the Section 301 tariffs that have been imposed on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. Most auto-part imports from China are subject to 25% tariffs. Some exclusions from the tariffs had been granted based on a demonstration that there was no other supply source and the company would suffer serious economic harm, but they have expired.

In a separate action, the USTR issued its annual “notorious markets” list and has added two Chinese e-commerce platforms to the list that already included other Chinese online sellers. AliExpress and the “WeChat e-commerce ecosystem” were added to the “notorious markets” list for the first time, because the scale of counterfeiting and piracy is causing significant harm to U.S. companies that own the intellectual property rights, their workers and U.S. consumers. The report notes that China is the number-one source of counterfeit products in the world. By highlighting these markets, the USTR hopes to “motivate appropriate action by the private sector and governments to reduce piracy and counterfeiting.” There has been a steep rise in the sale of counterfeit automotive parts on online marketplaces.

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