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美国取消主要医疗进口关税

2020-3-15 13:01

图为2020年3月11日,工人们在北京海淀区纳通医疗集团的生产线上检查产品。纳通医疗集团是一家口罩生产商。【图片/新华社】


华盛顿资深外交家j•斯特普尔顿•罗伊喜欢引用美国共和党早期的一部经典著作——《联邦党人文集》。


“所以,今天我想引用詹姆斯·麦迪逊在联邦63,他说,“独立于任何特定计划或措施的优点,它是可取的,在不同的账户,它应该出现其他国家作为一个明智的后代和可敬的政策”,“罗伊告诉美中政策基金会最近的一次小组讨论:“中美关系的前景”。


罗伊曾于1991年至1995年担任美国驻北京首席特使。他说,他很难相信美国对世界第二大经济体的态度反映了“公平和明智”的政策。


他首先就中美关系中最近出现的问题提出了自己的见解,包括两国经济的“脱钩”、冠状病毒爆发以及第一阶段贸易协议的签署。该协议对价值约3600亿美元的中国进口商品保持高关税。


罗伊说:“许多人认为,我们正在寻求切断与中国的贸易关系,我们最终扰乱了国际供应链。”


罗伊说:“事实证明,为了应对我们认为起源于中国的冠状病毒危机,中国制造了所有你需要的设备。”


他表示:“但目前,供应链并没有按照预期的方式运作。”


至于近两个月前与中国签署的第一阶段贸易协定,他表示,该协定为避免在今年剩余时间(或至少在11月美国总统大选期间)与中国爆发更严重的贸易危机奠定了基础。


自从惩罚性关税开始了数十亿美元的价值的中国商品在2018年初,许多美国公司以及行业组织呼吁美国政府回滚或消除关税,他们说实际上是税收对美国企业和消费者。


1月31日,先进医疗技术协会(Advanced Medical Technology Association)致信美国贸易代表办公室(Office of the US Trade Representative),敦促其取消对“有助于在美国和中国控制冠状病毒”的产品的关税。据《华盛顿邮报》报道,美国贸易代表办公室表示,从公共卫生的角度来看,将医疗技术产品列入美国贸易代表办公室的关税清单是“令人不安的”。


但补救办法确实来了。由于在美国迅速蔓延的covid19疫情中需求上升,美国贸易代表办公室3月5日宣布,将对至少100种从中国进口的医疗用品免征进口关税,包括医疗长袍和防护口罩。


美国在第一阶段贸易协定达成后采取的关税措施,也是导致美中贸易全国委员会(US- china Business Council)主席克雷格•艾伦(Craig Allen)认为,这对即将到来的谈判可能不是好兆头的一个因素。


“我认为第一阶段的协议是向前迈出的良好一步,”艾伦告诉USCPF的与会者。“但我认为,考虑到选举过程,以及目前的关税可能会持续一段时间,第二阶段不会很快到来。”

 

 Workers check products on the assembly line at Naton Medical Group, a producer of masks in Beijing's Haidian district, on March 11, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

J. Stapleton Roy, a veteran diplomat in Washington, is fond of quoting from a classic work from the early days of the US republic-The Federalist Papers.

 

"So, today I thought I would quote from James Madison in Federalist 63, where he said that,' independently of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is desirable, on various accounts, that it should appear to other nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable policy'," Roy told a recent US-China Policy Foundation panel discussion: "The Outlook on US-China Relations".

 

Roy, who served as Washington's top envoy in Beijing from 1991 to 1995, said he found it hard to believe that the United States' approach toward the world's second-largest economy reflected "a fair and wise" policy.

 

He first offered insight into recent issues in Sino-US relations, including "decoupling" of the two economies, the coronavirus outbreak and the signing of the phase one trade deal, which keeps in place high tariffs on about $360 billion worth of Chinese imports.

 

"Many believe that we are seeking to decouple our trade relationship with China, and we end up disrupting international supply chains," Roy said.

 

"It turns out that in order to deal with the coronavirus crisis that we think originated in China, China makes all the equipment you need in order to deal with it," Roy said.

 

"But at the moment, the supply chains are not working the way they're intended to work," he said.

 

As to the signing of the firstphase trade agreement with China nearly two months ago, the deal laid the groundwork for avoiding an even worse trade crisis with China during the remainder of this year, or at least through the US presidential elections in November, he observed.

 

Ever since punitive duties began to be slapped on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese goods in early 2018, many US companies as well as industry groups have called for the US administration to roll back or remove the tariffs, which they said are in fact taxes on US businesses and consumers.

 

On Jan 31, the Advanced Medical Technology Association sent a letter to the Office of the US Trade Representative, urging it to lift tariffs on products "critical to helping to contain the coronavirus in the US and in China". The association said that including medical technology products on the USTR tariff list is "troubling" from a public health perspective, The Washington Post reported.

 

But a remedy did arrive. Due to rising demand amid the fastspreading COVID-19 outbreak in the US, the USTR announced March 5 it would exempt import tariffs on at least 100 medical items imported from China, including medical gowns and protective masks.

 

The US approach on tariffs after the phase one trade deal was also a factor that led Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, to believe it may not augur well for the upcoming talks.

 

"I think that phase one agreement was a good step forward," Allen told USCPF attendees."But I think given the election process and that the tariffs currently in place will probably remain in place for some time, the phase two can't come soon enough."

 

原作者: ZHAO HUANXIN 来自: china daily