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China Says Supports WTO After US Trade Threat

BEIJING, March 2 (Reuters) - China supports the work of the
World Trade Organization (WTO), the country's foreign ministry
said on Thursday, after U.S. President Donald Trump's
administration said it might defy WTO rulings it viewed as
interfering with U.S. sovereignty. 
Maintaining a fair and open multilateral system with the WTO
at its centre benefits global economic growth and is in the
interests of everyone, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang
"Since China joined the WTO it has always proactively
supported the WTO's work, and this position will not change," he
told a daily news briefing, when asked about the U.S. proposal. 
China'sCommerce Ministry declined immediate comment. 
In an annual trade policy agenda document released to
Congress on Wednesday, the U.S. Trade Representative's office
said the administration "will not tolerate" unfair trade
practices that distort markets. 
These range from currency manipulation and unfair government
subsidies to intellectual property theft, it added. 
 The document signals that the administration may try to push
the limits of what is acceptable under WTO rules in its quest to
make good on campaign promises to slash U.S. trade deficits with
China and Mexico, and bring home manufacturing jobs.
 It marks a departure from the Obama administration's strict
adherence to WTO compliance in its challenges to unfair foreign
trade practices.
 China, worried that its export-dependent industries will
suffer, has repeatedly urged global leaders to reject
protectionism, which Trump has championed with his "America
First" campaign.

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