1 Nov 2011
MILE 11, Thomas Tzieropoulos
Ten Years Behind NME Lines, and Beyond: Reviewing China’s changing role in the Global Economy through the issue of Trade Remedies in the World Trade O
MILE Thesis 2011, authored by Thomas Tzieropoulos, under the supervision of Gary N. Horlick
This paper discusses the 2001 accession of the People's Republic of China to the World Trade Organization and its consequences. In the first chapter, the paper provides a historical review of the accession negotiations which spanned from 1986 to 2001. It discusses the political constraints faced by the parties to the negotiations, with a special emphasis on the relationship between China and the United States. In the second chapter, this paper reviews the issue of trade remedies, i.e. antidumping and anti-subsidization, in the perspective of China's relations to the global trading system. It aims to substantiate some claims that these instruments have a protectionist bias. This chapter then assesses in detail the special provisions which can be applied by other WTO Members to imports from China under the terms of its Protocol of Accession, and in particular China's status as a 'non-market economy' in trade remedies proceedings. Finally, this paper assesses the impact of these provisions on Chinese trade in the last ten years, and the strategies deployed by China to counteract their negative impact. The present study finds a strong potential for discrimination against China in
the provisions under review. These can be explained by a perceived necessity
for the Chinese leadership to conclude negotiations at whatever cost. As to the rationale underlying the discriminatory provisions, this paper implies that the China-specific rules represent an attempt to reconcile the opposite objectives of enforcing market access to the Middle Kingdom, while retaining the possibility to impose contingent protection on Chinese exports in a manner contrary to the most-favored-nation principle embodied in WTO law.
This paper concludes that the strategy adopted by (mostly industrialized)
trading powers against China has been unsuccessful as it has been captured by protectionist interests. It has reduced incentives for necessary reforms of
inefficient industries in the western countries and undermined the legitimacy of the WTO as a whole. Furthermore, this strategy could lead to an escalation of retaliatory actions by China.