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Definition of International Trade

Time:2014-03-13 Hit:184


Definition of ‘International Trade


          The PRC Foreign Trade Law, promulgated on 12 May 1994 by the Seventh Meeting of the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress of the PRC and taking effect from 1 July 1994, as amended on 6 April 2004 and taking effect from 1 July 2004 (‘FTL (2004)’).


          There is no statutory definition of ‘international trade’ in the PRC. The closest one is the term ‘foreign trade’ under the PRC Foreign Trade Law (2004). Article 2 of the FTL (2004) defines ‘foreign trade’ as including import and export of goods, import and export of technology and trade in international services. The first component of this definition is the trade of tangible goods and covers the common usage of the term ‘foreign trade’ or ‘international trade’.

          The second and third components relate to intangible goods in the forms of technology or services. Trade of technology comprises cross-border assignment of patents, assignment of patent application rights, licensing of

patents, assignment of know-how, technical services and any other forms of transfer of technology.5 As a result, the cross-border transfer of other intellectual properties (such as trademarks and copyrights) falls outside of the scope

of foreign trade, thus not subject to international trade regulation in the PRC.

          Trade-in services is not defined under the laws, so the ordinary meaning of this word applies. The definitions in the General Agreement on Trade in Services, Annex 1B to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, adopted in the final session of the Trade Negotiations Committee at Ministerial level held at Marrakesh, Morocco from 12–15 April 1994 (‘GATS’), may be helpful to understand the meaning of ‘trade-in international

services’ in China.


          There are three categories of trading rights applicable under the Chinese regulatory regime: general trading rights, state trading rights, and designated trading rights. The first category – general trading rights – relates to the import and export of goods that are not subject to special restrictions, which should be available to every eligible foreign trade operator with the liberalization of the regulatory regime after the WTO accession. The second and the third categories of trading rights are only available to selected PRC companies, which represent a degree of state control or restriction of the trade-in some specific goods.



          Anti-dumping and Anti-subsidies ANTI DUM PI NO GV EARNV DI EAWN TI - S UBS I DI ES9.1 OVERVIEW9.1.1 EvolutionThe expansion of trading rights, the reduction of tariff rates and the elimination of import quantitative restrictions may contribute to the surge of importation to the Chinese market. At the same time, the availability of regulatory instruments decreases. In this context, fair trading measures –anti-dumping, anti-subsidies and safeguard measures – must play a more important role to ensure fair competition between foreign and domestic goods in the Chinese market. The implementation and application of fair trading measures by China, after the WTO accession, are new focuses on the regulatory regime of international trade. The preparation of Chinese anti-dumping legislation started in the early1980s.1The first provisions appeared in the PRC Foreign Trade Law (1994), in which Article 30 gave a definition of dumping and an overall authorization to the State to ‘adopt necessary measures to eliminate or alleviate such dam-age or the threat of such damage or hindrance’. Although this Article, together with Article 29 (for safeguards) and Article 31 (for anti-subsidies), constructed the legal basis of the fair trading system, they were too simple to provide guidance in practical application. Consequently, not until the issuance of PRC Regulation on Anti-dumping and Anti-subsidies in 19972did the Chinese anti-dumping system starts operating. In a period of a little more than four years (up to the WTO accession), Chinese authorities initiated about 15anti-dumping investigations and rendered decisions on such products as newsprint, cold-rolled silicon steel sheets, cold-rolled stainless sheets, polyester films, acrylates and dichloromethanes. There are a number of excellent works analyzing China’s pre-WTO




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