Saturday, 6 January 2007

China's Participation in the WTO

Today I presented my paper on China's Participation in the WTO at the International Conference on Contemporary China Studies. This is the Conclusions part of my article:

Due to the changes in the political and economic environments, it has taken China fifteen years to be finally admitted into the multilateral trading system as represented by the WTO. Such political and economic realities are also reflected in the legal terms embodied in China’s final accession package. Generally speaking, during its accession, China has made much deeper and broader commitments than most other WTO Members, especially developing country Members. As the Chinese economy has strong resilience, however, the high level of market access commitments in both trade in goods and trade in services would not have as deep an effect on the economy as people might have thought. Instead, the biggest challenge lies in the rules area, especially those discriminatory terms which almost downgrade China to a second-class Member in the WTO. Such terms, if used rather liberally, could severely affect China’s trade interests, especially export expansion capacities in foreign markets and cause great distortion to the world market. Moreover, it such terms are also imposed on other potential Members seeking accession, there would be an imbalance of rights and obligations among the older and newer Members. In response to these challenges, China has become more and more aggressive in protecting its own trade interests since its accession. This trade strategy is reflected in the actions it has taken at three levels: at the domestic level, China has revised its trade laws and regulations to provide for more trade remedies tools for its firms; at the bilateral and regional level, China has been actively pursuing FTA negotiations with many of its trade partners; at the multilateral level, until very recently, China has not been very active in either WTO negotiations or dispute settlement. With better self-assessment of its own trade interests and deeper understanding of the function of the WTO dispute settlement system, however, we would soon start to see China become active in the multilateral trading system as well.

1 comment:

linda said...
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