Most Chinese State-owned enterprises are not relevant to tra

ade negotiations. Many are in non-tradable sectors such as property develop

ment, infrastructure, or concrete. Others are basically public utilities in telecoms or power.

Some Chinese car companies are State-owned, usually by provincial govern

ments, but the car business in China is very highly competitive and foreign brands are very successful.

In any case, the continuing growth of an already large private sector should alleviate foreign concerns

about competing with State-owned companies.

During the George W. Bush administration, the US imposed tarif

fs on Chinese steel, arguing that State-owned companies had an unfair advantage. But, US ste

el companies also face higher costs because of increased environmental protection. China’s current emphasis on bu

ilding an “ecological civilization” means that that kind of polluting heavy industry will be less viable.

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