United States officials have raised concern with China at the “highest level” over a planned cyber security law they say poses a big trade barrier.
Deputy US Trade Representative Robert Holleyman said the new regulations, which would force technology vendors to Chinese banks to hand over secret source code and adopt Chinese encryption procedure, is inconsistent with Beijing’s moves to open its economy, Reuters reported Friday.
“Our view is that it’s a major barrier to trade,” he said.
Holleyman said the US is asking China to put the new regulations on hold.
It’s too early to say if Washington will challenge the rules at the World Trade Organization, but China must consider its international commitments, including plans for an investment treaty with the US, he said.
The rules are set to come into effect in mid-March.
Holleyman is the former head of BSA The Software Alliance, one of more than a dozen US business groups which have complained directly to Beijing about the rules and appealed to Washington to help overturn them.
All governments want to ensure secure transactions and the integrity of networks but the best solution is to have globally competitive products and use the best technology available.
“The proposed mechanism is not the way to deal with that, rather the proposed mechanism primarily constitutes a trade barrier,” he said.
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