The Perils of Shifting China’s ‘Market Economy’ Dispute to the WTO

A quay at the Port of Qingdao, in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, Dec. 8, 2016 (Imaginechina photo via AP).
A quay at the Port of Qingdao, in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, Dec. 8, 2016 (Imaginechina photo via AP).

Last week, China brought formal legal challenges against the United States and the European Union for their failures to recognize the Asian giant as a “market economy” according to World Trade Organization rules. China’s current “nonmarket economy” designation allows Washington and Brussels to use a special tariff formula to stem the flow of low-priced imports in anti-dumping cases. Contrary to initial media reports of a trade war, Beijing’s WTO actions sent a positive signal for otherwise bleak trade relations between these major powers—at least in the near term. But longer term, the squabble over China’s market economy status is just […]

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