Beijing has duty to police quotas, says US official

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 January, 1994, 12:00am

CHINA, as a party to a quota agreement, has the responsibility to prevent illegal transshipments, according to US International Trade Commissioner Carol Crawford.

''I don't know exactly what means and methods are available to China and other trading countries that allows them to police illegal transshipment,'' she said.

''But I have to say that when a country assumes a treaty obligation, in this case to undertake a quota agreement, then it seems to me there is inclusive in that agreement, an effort and understanding that the quota agreement would be respected as well astaking additional steps to make sure that third parties follow that agreement.'' She said some US trading partners which received textile products had developed computerised systems allowing them to identify transshipped goods and prevent such activity from recurring.

Ms Crawford was replying to questions on the problem of illegal transshipment of Chinese-made goods.

The US Customs Services has claimed that an estimated US$2 billion in Chinese textiles are shipped illegally through third countries each year.

The claim led to the US threatening to cut China's quota by up to 35 per cent if a way was not found to stem the illegal transshipments and reach a new textile agreement by January 17.

Ms Crawford explained the role of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) yesterday during a visit to the US Consulate.

The ITC is an independent, bi-partisan government agency covering international trade and tariffs.

She said that at present, the commission was conducting investigations of specific Chinese products which US industries believed were violating either subsidy or dumping laws.