False Promises II: The Continuing Gap Between China’s WTO Commitments and Its Practices

July 26, 2021
  • China’s state-led economic model, driven heavily by innovation-mercantilist practices, stands at odds with the foundational WTO principles of pursuing market-oriented policies while providing non-discrimination, national treatment, and reciprocity.
  • China has failed to meet numerous WTO commitments on issues such as industrial subsidization, protection of foreign intellectual property, forcing joint ventures and technology transfer, and providing market access to services industries.
  • China’s behavior toward the WTO and its trading partners is that of a nation that knew what it had to promise to enter the organization, but its subsequent actions have demonstrated it never intended to keep those promises.
  • Decades of gaming the global trading system and failing to meet WTO commitments have enabled China to accumulate tremendous trade surpluses and foreign currency reserves, which it uses to pursue domestic and foreign policy objectives.
  • It is time for like-minded nations to join together to forcefully insist that China come into full and immediate compliance with all its WTO commitments and more broadly to contest China’s innovation-mercantilist strategies.