The 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO triggers mixed emotions


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Hello from Brussels, where we learn more about the anti-coercion instrument Wrote about It has been published on Monday and is in heated debate. One point of view That is to say, interpreted from a sufficiently broad perspective, it essentially allows the European Commission’s Trade Bureau to control the EU’s foreign and security policies.Call us caught by our sources, but frankly, you Can be made worse.

Today’s highlight is the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization. This birthday party will arouse mixed emotions in Beijing and Geneva, but in Washington, there is a clear lack of party atmosphere.

Concession waters Focusing on the new index of shipping costs, its founder hopes that the index can set a benchmark for measuring container freight.

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The U.S. needs to be involved to win it

Rich countries have a very standard statement about China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, just like this. After being passionate about the irresistible globalization process, it joined in December 2001. The assumption is that the arc of China’s development is very long, but it leans toward capitalism. China’s status as a “non-market economy” under WTO rules has even been predetermined.

It turns out that this is wrong. Reformers such as Zhu Rongji, who served as China’s prime minister from 1998 to 2003, were replaced by radical economic nationalists. To be sure, Beijing actually has a pretty good track record of complying with the WTO dispute settlement rulings, such as the cancellation of state support for it. Wind turbine industry. It has joined the multi-party provisional appeal arrangement, which is an alternative mechanism established by various countries after the United States has deeply frozen the WTO Appellate Body.

However, the loopholes in the WTO rules book designed for the market economy have become very obvious. Subsidy discipline has exposed many of the Chinese government’s trade-distorting interventions.Attempts to place more companies and state institutions under it have been thwarted Useless definition A “public institution” established by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.

During the negotiations, China refused to give up its special and differentiated status as a developing country. As the multilateral Doha Round fell ill in the 2000s and then suddenly appeared at the decisive WTO Ministerial Conference in 2008, the final blow of management won some honors.

On its own, this narrative is not wrong—and Recent comments Showcase of China’s Trade Policy in the WTO Many rich countries Share critical analysis. But it ignored the mistakes of the United States, especially putting the WTO and China aside.You don’t have to agree to all of this Priceless paper Henry Gao of Singapore Management University conducted a relatively sympathetic analysis of China’s experience in the WTO to acknowledge Washington’s own role in bypassing and undermining the institution. Since China’s accession, the United States has systematically overgrown trees, wasting political capital, alienating allies, and creating expectations on Capitol Hill that it cannot meet.

Since the Doha Round is a toast, it is easy to forget how much time and energy it took after the United States and the European Union stupidly insisted on launching it-in 2001 at the same ministerial meeting as China. After Washington promised its farmers unrealistic access to new export markets, the negotiations encountered resistance from developing countries. In this regard, the United States has redoubled its efforts and pursued the “One Belt, One Road” strategy.Competitive liberalization“-A series of preferential trade agreements-undermined the WTO.

The United States is also completely obsessed with defending certain anti-dumping duties (you can follow the “return to zero” legend here) The looting of the WTO dispute settlement process, it has now done its best to destroy this institution.There are many reasons for conflict with the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, but the United States has allowed its hostility to be used by a small number of departments (usually steel) and its anti-dumping lawyers (such as Robert Lighthizer).

In contrast, the United States did not jointly propose a new definition of trade-distorting subsidies with the European Union and Japan until 2017, which may cover more of China’s national capitalist model. That project Stop and start since then, it must be Restart Last month, and failed to expand beyond the three governments involved. To be fair, imagine that they will advertise on the WTO, they will grab the paper with the new subsidy rules written on them, and all other members will paste them into the WTO rule book without any objection. But you can’t have nothing. If you want to fundamentally change the subsidy debate, you need to focus more than just anti-dumping methods.

One solution for the U.S. and China to sit on the same table is Layout here Written by the venerable Jim Bacchus (founding member and former chairman of the WTO Appellate Body, although he does not like to mention it). Bacchus’s path forward is a grand deal. China accepts wider subsidy rules and resolves issues such as forced technology transfer in exchange for the United States to cut agricultural subsidies and reform its trade defense tools.

To be honest, we don’t quite believe that there will be many settlements.No matter what kind of enthusiasm the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai (Katherine Tai) may have, the U.S. has not actively participated in WTO reform discussions. Send out. Those who are absent are always wrong, As they said in Brussels, or in the Washington version “you have to participate in it to win it.” China, no matter how annoying it is, at least is emerging and participating in it.

If we all go back to 2001, other large economies will undoubtedly write more clear rules in China’s accession agreement, and they are correct in doing so. But we are where we are. Until the United States sends a signal that it can protect the WTO system better than China, Washington will not gain credibility to make up for lost time.

Concession waters

The soaring transportation cost has triggered a wave of concerns about the benchmark for measuring the price of containers transported across the world’s oceans. With this in mind, shipping data agencies Xeneta and Compass Financial Technologies (a financial index provider for alternative asset classes) today launched Compass’s Xeneta Shipping Index.

The index will cover eight of the world’s leading trade routes, aiming to be the most accurate and transparent daily container freight index, and in line with EU rules on short-term freight benchmarks. The following is the data display for the voyage from East Asia to the west coast of the United States and Northern Europe to the east coast of South America. Claire Jones

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