EU to U.S.: No Special Favors For China

The 15 governments of European Union (EU) are warning the U.S. and China that they will oppose any deal between Washington and Beijing that offers membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the Chinese in return for special favors to the U.S. The EU fears that the two countries' efforts to achieve a breakthrough on Chinese admission to WTO could end up in a bilateral pact that discriminates against EU and other WTO members. "No bilateral deal between China and another country can be imposed on the WTO membership," emphasizes Sir Leon Brittan, the EU's trade commissioner. The EU is particularly wary because its trade relations with the U.S. are currently soured by disputes on Europe's imports of Caribbean bananas and U.S. hormone-treated beef. The U.S. and China are seeking to thrash out a deal that they could present together during a planned visit to the U.S. by Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji next month.

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