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Working Paper

China and the world trade organisation: towards a better fit

China’s participation in the WTO has been anything but smooth, as its self-proclaimed socialist market economy system has alienated its trading partners. The WTO needs to translate some of its implicit legal understanding into explicit treaty language, in order to retain its principles while accommodating China.

By: and Date: June 13, 2019 Topic: Global Economics & Governance

China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 was hailed as the natural conclusion of a long march that started with the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s. However, China’s participation in the WTO has been anything but smooth. Its self-proclaimed socialist market economy system has alienated its trading partners. Two diametrically opposite approaches have been proposed to deal with the emerging problems. One is to demand that China changes its economic regime. The other is to stay idle and accept that the WTO must accommodate different economic regimes, no matter how idiosyncratic. In this paper, we argue that there is a more promising third way. In our view, the problems posed by China arise from the fact that, while in the past the GATT/WTO had to address the accession of socialist countries or of big trading nations, it never had to deal with a big, socialist country like China. In order to retain its principles while accommodating China, the WTO needs to translate some of its implicit legal understanding into explicit treaty language. We advance specific proposals to this effect.

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Policy Contribution

China’s state-owned enterprises and competitive neutrality

The concept of competitive neutrality can be used to assess how far a market is from being a competitive environment. In China, competitive neutrality is lacking, with state-owned firms favoured in most sectors, even over Chinese private firms.

By: Alicia García-Herrero and Gary Ng Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: February 23, 2021
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Opinion

Will COVID accelerate productivity growth?

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an increasing number of rich-country firms to reduce their reliance on global supply chains and invest more in robots at home. But it is probably too soon to tell whether this switch will increase productivity growth in advanced economies.

By: Dalia Marin Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: February 10, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism: Greening the EU trade?

Assessing CBAM from a trade perspective.

Speakers: Suman Bery, Luis Garicano, Emily Lydgate and André Sapir Topic: Energy & Climate, Global Economics & Governance Date: February 4, 2021
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External Publication

China and the WTO: Why Multilateralism Still Matters

An examination of China’s participation in the World Trade Organization, the conflicts it has caused, and how WTO reforms could ease them.

By: Petros C. Mavroidis and André Sapir Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 28, 2021
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External Publication

Getting America Back In The Game: A Multilateral Perspective

How can friends of the multilateral system re-engage the United States under President-elect Biden?

By: Richard E. Baldwin, Chad P. Bown, Jonathan T. Fried, Anabel González, André Sapir and Tetsuya Watanabe Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 28, 2021
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Podcast

Podcast

A rushed deal or a rush to judgement?

The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is supposed to improve market access for European companies operating in China and to ensure a level playing field, as well as reciprocity. Does it fulfil such expectations?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 27, 2021
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Opinion

中國企業受累貿戰和疫情,但仍優於全球同業

總體上,中國企業的表現半喜半憂:相對全球同業表現較好,但收入下降和槓桿率升高帶來的風險也不容忽視。

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 21, 2021
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Opinion

RCEP對亞洲影響積極,無阻價值鏈重組

總體而言,雖然RCEP成員之間在市場准入上實際提升幅度有限(例如中國和澳洲),但這一協定的意義在於讓世界意識到,亞洲仍然依賴中國市場,亞洲國家不能錯過中國放寬市場准入的機會,即使幅度有限。

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 21, 2021
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Opinion

An EU - China investment deal: a second look

For the moment, it does not look like we have the basis for greater and deeper economic relations with China. However, dismissing China and the opportunities that it creates for global cooperation would also be a mistake.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 19, 2021
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Opinion

Résilience : la nouvelle boussole

Pour surmonter le choc de la pandémie de Covid-19, l’économiste écarte, dans sa chronique, l’idée d’un repli protectionniste, mais suggère de passer d’un objectif de réduction des coûts à celui de la réduction des risques.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 18, 2021
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Blog Post

The double irony of the new UK-EU trade relationship

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement signed between the European Union and the United Kingdom goes against six decades of UK efforts to avoid being economically disadvantaged in Europe. Tracking the evolution of the EU-UK relationship over the last 60 years can help in understanding this.

By: André Sapir Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: January 12, 2021
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Opinion

Europe's disappointing investment deal with China

Why rush a deal that is so inherently complex?

By: Alicia García-Herrero Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: January 4, 2021
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