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An analysis of standardization based on technical barriers to international trade

With the acceleration of the process of economic globalization, technical standards have been recognized as a powerful tool to establish technical barriers and seize the international market, an important means to promote advanced technology, improve the level of science and technology and product quality in China, a necessary condition for the industrialization of high technology, and an important driving force for the change of traditional industries and enterprises to achieve technological leap. As China has joined the WTO, tariffs have been significantly reduced, tariff barriers will gradually give way to non-tariff barriers. As a non-tariff barrier, technical barriers are increasingly becoming a lever to regulate international trade and have an important impact on a country’s economic development. Therefore, in order to meet the opportunities and challenges faced by China’s accession to the WTO, we must establish a standardization strategy with Chinese characteristics, in order to promote the improvement of the overall level of China’s technical standards and the rapid development of China’s economy and science and technology.

The dilemma of China’s technical standards in today’s situation

According to incomplete statistics 71% of China’s export enterprises, 39% of exports in these two areas were relatively large impact, resulting in losses of $ 17 billion, accounting for 5.2% of exports. Among them, the EU, Japan, the United States on my export enterprises caused a large part of the loss. From the actual situation can be seen, in the technical standards and conformity assessment procedures of our enterprises are subject to great restrictions.

  1. According to statistical analysis, China’s scientific and technological competitiveness ranks 32nd among 51 countries and 13th among 27 countries with a population of 20 million or more. In other words, China’s science and technology competitiveness is at the lower middle level in the world. Statistics show that in terms of quality certification systems, the United States has established 55 quality certification systems, while Japan has 25, and the EU has unified – 9. In the adoption of international standards, the early 20th century 80, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other countries, the international adoption rate (the proportion of international standards) has reached 80%, Japan’s new national standards more than 90% is the adoption of the International Organization for Standardization (1SO) and the International Electrotechnical Organization (1EC) standards, while in China, according to statistics 19744 national standards, only 8628 adopted International standards and advanced foreign standards, the adoption rate is only 43.7%. In addition, from the viewpoint of the development of international technical standards, almost all are controlled by developed countries, in the ISO and IEC 992 special committees, only the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Japan, five countries occupy 62% of the officer country seats, while China is only five of the special committees and subcommittees of the officer countries. No technology, can not participate in the development of standards, of course, can only be subject to passive acceptance of standards, standards can not be met, it can only be other countries to be rejected in a dignified manner.

2. Many enterprises in China due to the past long in the planned economic conditions, the lack of sufficient attention to standardization, the vast majority of enterprises are not specifically engaged in technical standards researchers, but only after encountering technical barriers to trade to mend the sheep. Due to the lack of participation of enterprises in the standards strategy, the lack of leading enterprises in our country to develop industry standards has led to the government to set mandatory standards. We know that the correlation between the government and the market is weak compared to the enterprise and the market, the mandatory standards may be decoupled from the market, and usually government agencies are concerned about the domestic market rather than the foreign market, so that mandatory standards over voluntary standards, and international standards are not closely linked to the development of the industry are very unfavorable. And from the experience of foreign standards implementation of technical standards strategy, in dealing with the relationship between standards and technical regulations, the EU as the representative of the market economy of developed countries and regions generally adopt the following legislative model, that is, technical regulations only provide for safety, health, environmental protection and other aspects (see WTO / TBT to determine the legitimate objectives of the development of technical regulations) the basic requirements, while the technical details involved are Through the indicative reference standards to solve; in the absence of applicable standards, the regulatory body commissioned the standards body to develop the corresponding standards for use in regulations. This model makes technical regulations and standards are closely linked, so that standards and technical regulations form a unified, tight and flexible system, both to ensure the basic protection requirements for the relevant aspects (for example, general safety issues), but also to give the freedom of technological development.

Because China’s mandatory standards and international standards are not closely linked, so China’s existing technical standards lack an overall link between scientific research and standard-setting decoupling, which leads to poor application of standards. In the past, the decentralized management of China’s standards, and did not raise the national technical standards to a strategic level, the formation of national standards and industry standards of the State Council ministries and commissions as the main body of the standard structure, and now many standards are still the standards issued by the ministries and commissions before the successive institutional reforms, and these standards are not updated and released in a timely manner, thus resulting in the national standards and industry standards boundary is unclear, some standards fail, some standards inter Cross, some standards are not compatible, some standards contradict each other, etc. After joining the WTO, although the National Standardization Administration Committee as the main body of China’s standards publishing and maintenance, ministries and commissions to manage the standards of the department formally renamed the sub-committee, but the system is not the same as the nature of foreign standards institutes, and make China’s implementation of technical standards strategy system is constrained.

Initiatives for the promotion of China’s standardization strategy

(1) First of all, the government level should strongly support the promotion of standardization strategy, we suggest that the following three aspects can be considered.

  1. In the case of the government has a huge capital investment, an overview of the United States, Japan, Germany, France and other countries, most of their standardization organizations are private non-profit institutions, non-governmental in nature. These private organizations to develop standards, with great authority, not only enjoy a good reputation in the country and quite popular, but also in the international are highly evaluated and widely used. The American National Standards Institute (ANSl), for example, is basically characterized by industry autonomy, and the U.S. government enforces mandatory technical standards only in individual areas of significant public interest and public resources and public safety. Why do developed countries weaken the rights of government in technical standards? Because standards are different from technology, technology first, then standards, from technology to standards after a series of market operations. It can be said that the standard is derived from the market. The government-led development of technical standards, and the use of government monopoly of public power to enforce is not in line with market principles. For this point, our government should also have a clear understanding, although in the technical standards strategy does have an important role, but should not go to dominate the development and implementation of technical standards, overstepping the bounds of the market, in violation of the law.

2. The government should further implement the policy of “science and technology to promote trade”, actively carry out global and regional industry activities, and promote enterprises to “go global” and compete in the international market. Continuously improve the level of openness to the outside world, accelerate the transformation of foreign trade growth, and promote trade and market diversification. At the same time, the government can also actively introduce talents, promote the integration of foreign technical personnel and domestic outstanding talent resources, the formation of a high-level scientific and technological personnel, international scientific and technological cooperation, strengthen exchanges with domestic and foreign research institutions, all-round initiative to use global scientific and technological resources to promote the technological progress of the industry. In addition to actively participate in some activities of international standardization organizations, because these international standard organizations have a pivotal position for the future of international standards.

3.The government should use its own advantages to coordinate all aspects, including coordination between enterprises and standards. First, the necessary balance should be maintained between competing interests, including the coordination of the interests of individual enterprises, competition and cooperation in the same industry, and the convergence of different industries. Secondly, different methodologies are adopted according to the needs of different industries with special technologies, products and fields. Third, the coordination between the relevant administrative measures and the standard-setting process, not because of administrative inefficiencies that delay the standard-setting process. Fourth, the coordination between different standardization activities – consistent, to avoid overlap or conflict with each other.

(2) Secondly, as the main mechanism of innovation and standard making, enterprises should actively cooperate with the government to establish an enterprise-led system of standard setting and industrialization through positive interaction.

  1. In the current “technology patenting a patent standardization a standard branding a brand market” the background of the new industrial development chain, enterprises should change the old concept, improve the new understanding of technical standards, pay close attention to the new trends of global changes in technical barriers to trade, change the old concept, focus on environmental protection, high technology content, pollution-free and other factors The requirements of the launch of their own class brand, the formation of strategic markets.
  2. For enterprises that have the ability to participate in the development of international standards, our government should increase investment in research and development according to the characteristics and features of their own products, and actively develop international standards that are beneficial to China.
  3. Each enterprise or the whole industry should actively participate in the activities of international technical standards bodies. According to the survey, 75% of the enterprises participate in the activities of national technical standard institutions, of which 60% also participate in international technical standard activities. The survey shows that by participating in technical standards activities, enterprises can gain internal knowledge and the latest information, and the chances of success of enterprises adopting European standards or international standards increase, in this case, enterprises do not have to make substantial adjustments to themselves when adopting European standards or international standards, and they can gain advantages in competition, and they can also inhibit themselves from investing in technologies that are not competitive and gaining shared Research results. It can be seen that enterprises participating in technical standards activities have an advantage in terms of cost and competitiveness (long-term and short-term) over enterprises not participating in technical standards activities.
  4. Take the form of enterprise alliance, large enterprises form a large leader, driving a large group of suppliers of enterprises to encourage enterprises to promote the work of technical standards in various forms, support large enterprises to support the core technology, absorb the participation of more enterprises, the formation of industrial alliances and other organizations, to play the power of collective innovation. For example, by Lenovo as the lead unit, TCL, Kangjia, Hisense and many other joint planning to establish the technical standards for the interconnection of computers, TVs, cell phones and other information devices, the construction of the Flash Union standard. This model by the technical standards formed by the relevant industrial chain can greatly enhance the competitiveness of the industry. “Only as a large, technology can be converted to standards.

By the current situation of today’s exports of mechanical and electrical products can be seen, China is now subject to technical barriers to trade is still relatively serious, especially last year’s economic crisis, countries not only in the import volume gradually reduced, but also in the technical barriers to trade more stringent up. Therefore, a comprehensive and in-depth study of the most important technical standards in technical barriers to trade, to master the rules of market access, to explore how China’s mechanical and electrical industry in the new pattern of world trade and the new situation to cope with and maintain rapid and stable development becomes very important and necessary, especially through the technical barriers to trade on China’s mechanical and electrical products technical standards analysis, as well as the technical barriers to trade encountered by China’s mechanical and electrical industry It is of great practical significance to find out feasible and systematic countermeasures for expanding exports of electromechanical products in response to technical barriers to trade.