【英语中国】中国继续拖延IT免关税谈判

  • A+
所属分类:双语中国

2013-11-21 09:02

小艾摘要: China is again resisting calls to reduce tariffs on a wide range of IT products it imports, threatening efforts to update the 1996 international agreement governing trade in electronic goods.Negotiato ...
China is again resisting calls to reduce tariffs on a wide range of IT products it imports, threatening efforts to update the 1996 international agreement governing trade in electronic goods.

Negotiators from more than 50 countries involved in 97 per cent of the global trade in IT products are seeking to update the Information Technology Agreement by removing tariffs on a swath of products not foreseen in the 1996 deal. They are hoping to unveil it at next month’s WTO ministerial meeting in Bali.

The ITA negotiations have also become a litmus test for China, which is the world’s biggest exporter of IT products, and how it engages in plurilateral trade negotiations.

Beijing is seeking to join the much bigger, and potentially more complex, US-led talks to update the rules governing the $4tn annual trade in services globally.

However, the US and others have pointed to what they see as China’s obstructionist behaviour in the ITA talks as a cautionary tale for the services talks.

The ITA talks first broke down in July over China’s decision to exclude more than 100 products from the 256-product list at the centre of the negotiations. They resumed last week after the US and others involved said they had received assurances from China that it was prepared to reduce the list of excluded products substantially. But China surprised many by not taking part in last week’s talks and also cancelled a series of meetings with other countries, according to people close to the negotiations in Geneva. It also failed to submit a new proposed list before the talks began.

When other countries involved pressed the Chinese on Monday, negotiators for Beijing finally submitted their list, trade officials said. But the updated list included only a few minor tweaks, and negotiators for other countries said the talks now appeared at risk unless Beijing was prepared to make significant concessions and engage more actively.

While China’s tough position might be expected in a negotiation, trade officials involved said its behaviour had been out of the ordinary. Yu Jianhua, China’s deputy international trade representative, flew to Geneva and had scheduled meetings to discuss the ITA negotiations with other participants last week. But the bulk of those meetings were cancelled.

“We have a situation today where there is just a broad frustration that China is not ready to negotiate this,” said one senior trade official involved in the talks. “They are the world’s biggest beneficiary of IT exports. Other people look at that and say there’s got to be a little bit of reciprocity there.”

The talks are scheduled to conclude today but are now likely to be extended. Negotiators insist a deal needs to be done this week to have it ready to be presented to ministers in Bali.

John Neuffer, senior vice-president of global policy at the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents big tech companies such as Microsoft and Sony, said the Chinese manoeuvring appeared to be part of a negotiating ploy. “They are continuing to play hardball and seeking maximum leverage by being tough and running the clock out,” he said.

“Everyone is like fish moving around an immovable pier. They are making as much compromise as they can without the Chinese at the table,” he said.

“China has got to be part of this. They are too big a player. You can’t have an outcome without the Chinese.”

中国再度抵制降低多种信息技术(IT)产品进口关税的呼吁,这一立场威胁着更新国际社会1996年达成的《信息技术产品协议》(Information Technology Agreement,简称ITA)的努力。

参与全球97%信息技术产品贸易的50多个国家的谈判代表正在寻求更新《信息技术产品协议》,目的是免除1996年未能预见的一大批新产品的关税。各方希望向下月在印尼巴厘举行的世贸组织(WTO)部长级会议提交新的协议。

《信息技术产品协议》谈判还成了针对中国及其参与诸边贸易谈判方式的一块试金石。中国是全球最大的信息技术产品出口国。

中国正寻求加入由美国牵头的更新涉及每年4万亿美元服务贸易的规则的谈判,这项谈判的金额大得多,潜在也更为复杂。

不过,美国和其他一些国家将他们眼里中国在《信息技术产品协议》谈判中的阻挠行为当作一个警示。

《信息技术产品协议》谈判最初是在7月破裂的,症结在于中国决定从谈判针对的256种产品中,排除100多种产品。在美国和其他参与的国家表示,他们已得到中国方面的保证,称中方准备大幅度削减拟排除在外的产品清单之后,谈判在上周重启。但是,据了解日内瓦谈判情况的人士介绍,出乎很多人的意料,中国没有参加上周的磋商,还取消了一系列与其他国家的会谈。中国也未能在谈判开始之前提交新的提议清单。

贸易官员们表示,当参与谈判的其他国家周一敦促中方表态时,中国的谈判代表终于拿出了他们的清单。但是更新后的清单仅包括寥寥几个次要调整。其他国家的谈判代表表示,现在看来谈判面临风险——除非中国愿意作出重大让步,并且更加积极地投入。

尽管中国在谈判中的强硬立场也许是可以预期的,但参与的贸易官员们表示,这一次中国的行为有点反常。中国商务部国际贸易谈判副代表俞建华曾飞往日内瓦,他曾安排上周与其他一些国家的代表开会,商讨《信息技术产品协议》谈判事宜。但那些会议多数都取消了。

“我们今天面临的局面是,各国对于中国不愿谈判普遍感到失望,”参与谈判的一名高级贸易官员表示。“他们是信息技术产品出口的全球最大受益者。对此,其他国家的人说,这得有一点互惠。”

谈判定于今日结束,但现在很可能会延长。谈判代表们表示,必须在本周达成协议,才来得及向巴厘部长级会议提交。

代表微软(Microsoft)和索尼(Sony)等大型科技公司的信息技术产业理事会(Information Technology Industry Council)负责全球政策的高级副总裁约翰?纽佛(John Neuffer)表示,中方的行为似乎是谈判计谋的一部分。“他们在继续采取强硬方式,摆出强硬姿态,拖延到最后一刻,以求获得最大优势,”他表示。

“大家就像鱼一样,围着纹丝不动的桥墩团团转。在中国人缺席谈判桌的情况下,他们尽可能地作出妥协,”他表示。

“中国必须成为这个协议的一部分。他们所占的份额太大了。没有中方参与,你不可能得到什么结果。”

译者/何黎

本文关键字:双语阅读,小艾英语,双语网站,双语中国,实时资讯,互联网新闻,ERWAS,行业解析,创业指导,营销策略,英语学习,可以双语阅读的网站!
  • 我的微信
  • 扫一扫加关注
  • weinxin
  • 微信公众号
  • 扫一扫加关注
  • weinxin

发表评论

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: