The United States claims that China routinely violates its World Trade Organization obligations, and that the global body is ineffectual at changing Chinese behavior. But the data do not support such assertions, and the perception that the US narrative has created is hurting the global trading system.
In retrospect, the final month of 2001 was a pivot point in history. Five days before China joined the WTO on 11 December, the United States and its allies routed the Taliban in its last stronghold in Kandahar, ringing in the start of a twenty-year military adventure in the Middle East that cost the superpower blood, treasury and not a small amount of its reserves of goodwill in the international community.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Thanks to China’s continuous reform and opening-up efforts to align with international rules, China’s accession to the WTO has become a win-win result for all. However, when the development of international trade patterns faces severe challenges such as the rise of protectionism, the WTO is facing increasing pressure too.
On December 11, 2001, China welcomed a watershed moment, becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), marking its firm determination to further intertwine into the global economy with concessions and commitment made after rare but tough 15-year negotiations.
Mireya Solís, director of the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings, joins David Dollar for a conversation on reforming and modernizing the World Trade Organization so that it can meet today’s challenges, which include response to the pandemic, shoring up global supply chains, increasing living standards, and environmental sustainability. Solís highlights erosion in the WTO’s three central functions and asks whether its members can prevent it from becoming irrelevant.
I have three propositions about Australia’s participation in World Trade Organisation dispute settlement to put to Interpreter readers.
The members of the Global Trade & Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA), a network of over 40 think tanks in 26 nations, have come together to articulate a positive vision that trade, globalization, and innovation—if conducted on private enterprise-led, market-based, rulesgoverned terms—can maximize welfare for the world’s citizens (GTIPA, 2017). The members of the GTIPA believe the World Trade Organization (WTO) can play a critical role as a forum for the establishment of rules that enable global trade to occur in a free, fair,
and market-oriented manner in accordance with the foundational principles of national treatment, nondiscrimination, transparency, and reciprocity and serves as a forum for the (ideally) impartial, rules-based, and timely adjudication of trade disputes among member
nations. A well-functioning WTO is indispensable to a well-functioning international economy. Unfortunately, the WTO is an increasingly constrained organization: It has failed to deliver any new significant trade-liberalizing agreements since the original Information
Technology Agreement (ITA) in 1996, progress on the Doha Round remains interminably stalled, and the Appellate Body (AB) system appears broken. Perhaps most worryingly, some nations, particularly China, have elected to embrace economic and trade strategies
and policies that are fundamentally antithetical and inconsonant with their WTO commitments, with the WTO proving powerless to effectively intercede. This monograph— authored by a subset of GTIPA members—explores the leading challenges facing the WTO
and offers a number of policy recommendations for how to address them.