Table: What WTO Entry Will Do and What It Won't

What WTO Entry Will Do...

OVERALL

China will lower average tariffs from 15% to 9% and eliminate almost all import quotas and discrimination against foreign companies by 2005.

INFO TECH

Imports of computers, telecom equipment, and semiconductors will be duty-free by 2005. Foreign companies no longer will be forced to transfer technology to local ventures.

AGRICULTURE

China will import millions of tons of grain, cotton, and soybean oil under a 1% tariff. Beyond that, tariffs on farm goods will fall from 22% to 17.5%; export subsidies will be eliminated.

TELECOM

Foreign companies can invest directly in phone and Internet services, whether delivered by cable, wireless systems, or satellite.

BANKING

Foreign banks will be able to operate anywhere in the country by 2005 and take deposits and make loans in local currencies to any person or company.

DISTRIBUTION

Within three years, most geographic and ownership curbs will be dropped in both retail and wholesale.

SERVICES

Foreign accounting, legal, engineering, management consulting, and medical service outfits will be able to have majority ownership.

What It Won't...

TELECOM SERVICES

Foreigners still would be barred from owning majority control of long-distance, cellular, Internet, and other service ventures.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Although China must abide by world intellectual property protection rules, piracy will be rife because the backward legal system will make enforcement difficult.

INSURANCE

Foreign ownership of insurance ventures will be limited to 50%, and limited to 49% for securities and fund management firms.

ENTERTAINMENT

Sharp limits on foreign films will remain, with up to 20 allowed each year. Foreign ownership of film distribution and movie theater ventures will be limited to 49%.

Data: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Brookings Institution

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