26 March 1999
China poised for WTO entry

CHINA appears to be closer to gaining entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) having made progress on the liberalisation of its agricultural sector.

The Financial Times reports that Charlene Barshefsky, US trade official, is about to visit the country.

Ms Barshefsky has made clear previously that a visit would only be made if a deal was in the offing.

China has proposed lifting a ban on imports of US citrus fruit, as well as expanding quotas and tariffs for some other agricultural products.

The package will still need to meet the demands of the US agricultural industry.

Ms Barshefsky requires the farm lobby on her side to help persuade a sceptical Congress to go along with a deal to admit China to the WTO.

  • Financial Times 26/03/99 page 7