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Mexico, China Still Far Apart in WTO Talks

IN BRIEF GLOBAL ECONOMY

August 14, 2001|Chris Kraul

Mexico Economy Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said his country and China still are far apart in their negotiations over China's entry to the World Trade Organization. Mexico is the only major country that has not reached a bilateral accord with China on its WTO entry, a hurdle that must be crossed before China's membership is final.

Mexico wants to keep high duties on some Chinese goods in place for as long as eight years to protect its shoe, textile and toy industries, while China is offering only three years. Since 1993, Mexico has imposed tariffs of as much as 1,100% on some Chinese imports, claiming dumping.

Despite the duties, many Mexican manufacturers have been put out of business by a flood of low-cost contraband, much of which comes from China.

Derbez described the two countries' relations as "tense but cordial," and said they would meet again in the next month to try to resolve the dispute.

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