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Gatt , Wto

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GATT and its negotiations are all around the reduction of tariff or non-tariff barriers to promote a more liberalized international trade system. When reading that “today, protectionism is the main purpose of the tariff” because for most developed countries, tariff doesn’t function as a main source of state revenue, I couldn’t help pondering Chinese import tariffs and non-tariff barriers. In 2007, Xinhua news agency reported that taxation revenue accounted for 95% of our state revenue and in 2009; the taxation revenue increased 9.8% than that of 2008, indicating that taxation is still the dominant actor in our state’s financial well-being. Although the average import tariff of China has been lowered from 15.3% of nine years ago before acceding to WTO to today’s 9.8%, honoring its WTO trade commitments, tariffs on certain imported products are still quite high, for example, the tariff on imported cosmetics is about 10%, and with the 17% VAT and 12% consumer tax, foreign cosmetics with their skyrocketing prices have become the genuine luxuries. In terms of price, those cosmetics have no advantage over our domestic brands, for people like me who are “coveting” the reputation of those “big names” of the cosmetics industry, we have either resentfully accepted the high prices at which those products are sold in mainland China, or we take every opportunity to grab a few for ourselves, for example, when travelling in other countries, we can always buy those products for much cheaper prices. Instead of continuing protecting our domestic cosmetics brands, the government has notices an enormous amount of money is spent on cosmetics in foreign markets, boosting other countries’ sales income. Our minister of commerce has announced that from next year the government will continue to reduce tariffs on cosmetics and luxuries, in the hope of gradually bringing those tariffs to zero.…...

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