Trump Administration Expresses Regret Over China’s WTO Membership

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The Trump administration has stepped up Sino-US trade tensions with claims that American support for China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization was a mistake.

In an annual report to Congress on China’s compliance with WTO commitments, the Trump administration said US support for Chinese membership had been in error, given the absence of conditions that would compel greater opening of the coiuntry’s economy.

“It seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China’s entry into the WTO on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China’s embrace of an open market-oriented trade regime,” said the report.

“It is now clear that WTO rules are not sufficient to constrain China’s market-distorting behaviour.”

The report arrives as Sino-US trade tensions accelerate, with the Trump administration preparing to launch measures directed at alleged theft of intellectual property by Chinese parties.

Hua Chinying (华春莹), spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign, responded to the report by saying that “ever since joining the WTO China has strictly abided by its rules, earnestly implemented its duties, and made an important contribution to the effective operation and growth of the multi-lateral trade system…other nations have also obtained benefit from trade with China.

“At the same time China has always firmly walked the path of opening and reform, firmly supported an open global economy, and continually improved its commercial operating environment.”

“The US has adopted unilateral methods and made unilateral statements…which pose an unprecedented challenge to the multi-lateral trade system.

“China hopes that the US correctly views China, as well as uses its own actual conduct to pragmatically preserve the multi-lateral trade system.”

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