SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China is unhappy with the U.S. spending bill passed by the House of Representatives last week, saying it contains discriminatory clauses that violate the rules of fair trade and “send the wrong signal”.
“China expresses its dissatisfaction and strong opposition,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website late on Sunday.
Clauses in the $1.1-trillion appropriations bill, passed by the House on Thursday, limit or ban the use of the funds for certain procurement and cooperation activities involving the Chinese government or Chinese companies. For instance, it bars use of the funds to procure Chinese processed poultry products for school lunches.
The clauses “discriminate against Chinese companies, violate the principles of fair trade and send the wrong signal”, Sun said.
“These clauses would not only affect normal business cooperation between companies of the two countries, but also damage the United States’ own interests. China urges the United States to take substantive measures and correct its erroneous practices to create a good environment for the healthy development of China-U.S. economic and trade relations.”
Chinese government opposition to such language in U.S. spending bills is not uncommon.
In January, Beijing complained about clauses in a previous bill that included a cyber-espionage review process for federal purchases of technology from the world’s second largest economy.
Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Stephen Coates