USTR knocks world telecom rules

April 7, 2006

The United States Trade Representative warned Thursday that foreign trade barriers continue to hamper U.S. telecommunications companies.

Trade Rep. Rob Portman said its annual review of the telecom sector found that barriers in overseas markets continued to hamper the competitiveness of U.S. telecom manufacturers and operators.

In addition, Portman said, the inability of foreign companies to access U.S. communications and networking technology was hampering their own ability to compete globally.

Specific concerns to the United States included high mobile termination rates in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico and Japan; restrictions on leased lines in Germany, India and Singapore, and high capitalization requirements in China.

In addition, there is a trend toward stiff financial requirements in some nations for so-called universal service programs.

"In fact," Portman said in a release, "they limit competition or create barriers for foreign telecom operators."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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