China's commerce ministry said Wednesday that the country's management measures on sugar imports were in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.
The ministry made the remarks in response to Brazil's opening of a consultation process at the WTO over China's trade measures on sugar imports.
China has received Brazil's consultation request, and will properly handle it according to the WTO dispute settlement procedures, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Sugar is one of China's major farm produces and concerns the economic interests of more than 40 million sugar farmers, according to the statement.
Increased sugar imports has caused serious damage to the domestic sugar industry, and thus the Chinese government, at the request of its domestic industry, has adopted safeguard measures on sugar imports according to law, it said.
The tariff-rate quotas on imports of sugar products were among trade measures that China clearly acknowledged to retain when it joined the WTO, and China's automatic import license management of commodities was necessary to effectively monitor commodity imports.
"The management measures China has adopted on sugar imports comply with China's WTO commitments and are in line with the WTO rules," it said.