US Government is monitoring China’s import policy changes and is joining delegations from five World Trade Organization (WTO) members – Australia, Canada, the European Union, South Korea and the U.S. to question China on its imports ban during a meeting of the WTO’s import licensing committee on Oct. 3. Earlier, on 18 July 2017, China had notified to the WTO that it would be imposing a ban on imports of certain kinds of solid waste by the end of 2017.
China has not renewed import licenses, leading to massive market disruptions, said US exporters. The move has effectively led to the early implementation of import restrictions that are officially scheduled to begin Jan. 1. Materials, not specifically named in the ban language, such as OCC, are facing trouble entering the country due to freeze on license issuance.
Officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce are representing US at the WTO.
During the Oct. 3 meeting, the U.S. delegation presented its concern “significant concerns with the changes to import licensing surrounding China’s implementation of an existing import ban on plastic and paper scrap,” according to a WTO summary.
Delegation members sought more information on which types of materials would be affected, with some noting that this issue was of great interest to their business sectors and explained how the import restrictions “were already creating issues for its traders”. The US asked whether China was planning to extend the measure to cover ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, and if so, when this would be implemented and under what procedures. The US requested China to adhere to notification obligations, particularly for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, noting that this constituted a multi-billion market for US stakeholders.