Washington says waiting for China response on tech rule concerns

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2015 4:41 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is waiting for China to respond to concerns raised about planned new rules pushing Chinese banks to purchase high-tech products from domestic vendors, a senior State Department official said on Monday.

U.S. business groups have complained about the regulations, and senior officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have written to their Chinese counterparts about them.

"We have put forward our position and we ... have to see now what actions they take, but they have certainly registered that we have put forward our concerns," Catherine Novelli, under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, told reporters at a round table discussion.

Novelli said it was hoped that raising concerns at a senior level would result in a rethinking of the policy by high-ranking Chinese officials.

Draft Chinese government regulations would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks.

Novelli said there was no set timeline for China to respond, but said the United States had looked into whether the rules broke World Trade Organization commitments.

The administration was pursuing concerns about the bank rules separately from negotiations with China over a bilateral investment treaty, she said. China is expected to make an offer on which sectors it would like to exclude from the treaty sometime this month.

(Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)