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US wins dispute over China's discrimination against its companies

The US has won a case at WTO over Chinese effort to discrimination against its financial services companies.

Updated: Sep 01, 2012, 02.20 PM IST
WASHINGTON: The US has won a case at World Trade Organisation (WTO) over Chinese effort to discrimination against its financial services companies.

The US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, said the WTO on Friday adopted the Panel Report finding in favor of the US in dispute regarding China's pervasive discrimination against US suppliers of electronic payment services.

The Panel had issued its report on July 16, 2012. Kirk welcomed the Chinese decision to accept adoption of the Panel report.

"This decision makes it clear that China should honor its WTO commitments to play by the rules and stop discriminating against American financial services providers.

"Fair and open financial services markets are critical to facilitating global trade," Kirk said.

"Most of the world's leading providers of the services that enable credit and debit card transactions are headquartered in the United States,", he said.

They employ tens of thousands of American workers, he added.

"A more efficient credit and debit payment system in China will also enable consumers to buy more goods, including made-in-America products," he said.

"The WTO panel agreed that China's pervasive and discriminatory practices are unfair to American suppliers of electronic payment services and discriminate at each stage of a payment card transaction.

"The message to the Government of China is that those practices must end," Kirk said.

After this decision, the industry estimates that the US stands to gain 6,000 jobs related to EPS (electronic payment system).

This is considered vital in facilitating commerce in the global marketplace as it allows consumers to make purchases using credit, debit, prepaid, and other payment cards.

Each year well over USD 1 trillion worth of electronic payment card transactions are processed in China.

China's regulator of EPS, the People's Bank of China, issued a series of measures - dating back to 2001 - that discriminate against foreign suppliers of EPS at every stage of a payment card transaction, the USTR said.

The WTO panel report adopted Friday confirms that China's measures significantly distort competition in China to the detriment of US providers, the USTR said.
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