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China as a WTO developing member, is it a problem? CEPS Policy Insights No 2019/16, November 2019

Hu, Weinian (2019) China as a WTO developing member, is it a problem? CEPS Policy Insights No 2019/16, November 2019. [Policy Paper]

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    The developing member status is an area identified for WTO reform by the US, the EU and the Trilateral Trade Ministerial Cooperation. The grievance is that some of the world’s top trading nations that declared themselves as developing members are taking advantage of the 155 special and deferential treatment provisions embedded to date across the range of WTO agreements, resorting to weaker commitments, undermining the functioning of the multilateral trading system and impeding the negotiation of future agreements. The developing member status per se is not a problem in relation to China’s commitments undertaken at its WTO accession, neither following accession as far as the three agreements that China participated in are concerned. China relinquished most special and differential treatment provisions at its accession, and many of its commitments are WTO-plus in nature. Within this remit, the problem lies in China’s lack of faithful compliance with certain accession commitments, such as notification and transparency. However, China’s developing member status could be a problem for the ongoing fisheries subsidies negotiations, especially given its world-leading fishing capacity. This presumption could also be true for other negotiations, for example those regarding the joint initiative on the trade-related aspects of ecommerce. China’s persistent claim of developing member status at the WTO may be understood as a result of political positioning, too, because championing “South-South cooperation” is a strategic priority for China’s diplomacy.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other international institutions > GATT/WTO
    Countries > China
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Policy Insights
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2020 18:57
    Number of Pages: 28
    Last Modified: 27 Jan 2020 18:57

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