Engaging in separate bilateral and regional free trade agreements will harm China's long-term commercial interests, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said Wednesday during a visit to Shanghai. Beijing is currently negotiating better trade terms with a number of countries and trade blocs but Lamy argued that such agreements only offer a temporary solution. During a meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao Tuesday, Lamy encouraged China to get more involved in putting the Doha round of trade negotiations back on track. He said that a multilateral agreement would protect China from potential escalations in trade protectionism and ensure a stable and sufficient supply of food for the country through lower agricultural tariffs. However, officials have indicated that China will not play a lead role in reviving the negotiations. Lamy praised the way China has responded to its WTO accession requirements but said more must be done to protect intellectual property as well as to remove non-tariff trade barriers.
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