WTO not pre­pared for China: US

Sunday Express - - WORLD -

CHINA’S eco­nomic sys­tem is not com­pat­i­ble with the norms of the WTO, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has said, as­sert­ing that the in­ter­na­tional trade body is not equipped to deal with Bei­jing and its in­dus­trial poli­cies.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is also seek­ing to re­de­fine the term ‘de­vel­op­ing na­tions’ as coun­tries like China, de­spite be­ing the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy, are be­ing con­sid­ered as de­vel­op­ing, that gives them cer­tain ben­e­fits un­der the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WTO).

“Too many coun­tries at the WTO self-des­ig­nate as de­velop- ing coun­tries. And as a de­vel­op­ing coun­try at the WTO, you en­joy ad­di­tional flex­i­bil­i­ties and ex­emp­tions from the rules,” Den­nis Shea, Deputy US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and US Am­bas­sador to the WTO, told a Wash­ing­ton au­di­ence on Fri­day.

“If you look at who some of these coun­tries are, though, it’s pretty amaz­ing that they’re claim­ing to be de­vel­op­ing coun­tries at the WTO,” he said.

For ex­am­ple, 10 of the G-20 mem­bers claim de­vel­op­ing coun­try sta­tus at the WTO.

China, which is the sec­ond largest econ­omy in the world, claims de­vel­op­ing coun­try sta­tus at the WTO, Shea said.

Five of the six coun­tries with the largest GDP per capita claim de­vel­op­ing coun­try sta­tus at the WTO, he said dur­ing his ap­pear­ance be­fore the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, a top Amer­i­can think-tank.

US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bob Lighthizer, Shea said, raised that is­sue at the min­is­te­rial con­fer­ence in Buenos Aries in De­cem­ber and has a real con­ver­sa­tion go­ing on at the WTO about whether there should be more dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion among de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

In July, he said, the US of­fered a pa­per on China’s eco­nomic model and the point of the pa­per was the eco­nomic model is es­sen­tially in­con­stant with the WTO norms.

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