American Shipper

U.S. wants more assurance of export compliance from China

U.S. wants more assurance of export compliance from China

   China may have ascended to the World Trade Organization, but the United States wants more assurance that the country handles “sensitive” exports appropriately.

   The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security officials said they want more flexibility to conduct on-site checks of end-users for licensed exports.

   “If we want to be able to make licensing decisions based on the commercial ‘bona fides’ of end-users, we need to be able to conduct routine end-use checks in China to verify that the items we export are being used for the appropriate purpose by the appropriate entity,” said Commerce undersecretary Kenneth I. Juster at the Update 2003 Export Controls and Policy Conference in Washington, Oct. 20.

   “Such end-use verification visits by the Commerce Department are an ordinary part of strategic trade,” said Juster, noting that the Bureau of Industry and Security may freely conduct these types of visits in 85 countries. “They ensure that sensitive exports are not diverted to unauthorized end-users or end-uses, and thereby strengthen confidence in our trade relationship.”

   Juster said the Chinese government has made on-site visits of end-user facilities difficult for the U.S. agency.

   “Although we have made some progress with the Chinese in this area, much more needs to be done in order to have an effective system in place,” he said. “Without further progress, our ability to license exports to certain Chinese companies will decrease.”

   The value of licensed exports to China from the United States increased from about $515 billion in 2001 to more than $2.8 billion in 2002.

   At a follow-up press briefing, Juster said the bureau has conducted about 10 on-site end-user inspections this year. These inspections have turned up no wrongdoing, he said.