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US criticism of China's WTO compliance falls flat as it doesn't have a leg to stand on: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2024-02-26 20:39
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This file photo taken on Dec 4, 2019 shows a view of the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, the US. [Photo/Xinhua]

The United States has once again pointed an accusing finger at China for allegedly failing to comply with the norms and principles of the World Trade Organization, which, as well as being "false", as China's Ministry of Commerce immediately made clear, displays some chutzpah given the US' actions.

In a report to Congress on China's WTO compliance released on Friday, the Office of the US Trade Representative warned of the "very serious challenge" that China poses for the international trading system, claiming that the country still embraces a "State-led, nonmarket approach" to the economy and trade. China's practice, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said, has caused "serious harm" to workers, businesses, and industries in the US and around the world.

This year's report is the 21st of its kind, but it is essentially another rinse and repeat that harps on the same old string about China's so-called exploitation of WTO loopholes and disregard of the world trade body's rules. Such allegations are contrary to the facts, given that China, as the largest developing country, has always supported the multilateral trading system and earnestly fulfilled its WTO commitments.

Since its accession to the WTO more than two decades ago, the country has continuously advanced its opening-up, firmly opposed unilateralism and protectionism, and contributed its due part to the development of economic globalization in a more open, inclusive, balanced and win-win way. All this has won the country acclaim from the overwhelming majority of WTO members.

Rather than doing harm, as the US claims, China's steady economic growth has brought tremendous benefits and opportunities to the rest of the world. Thanks to China's WTO accession, US consumers have been able to enjoy two decades of relatively inexpensive consumer goods imported from China. "Each US household saw its annual purchasing power increase by $1,500 thanks to lower prices caused by increased trade with China from 2000 to 2007", according to a 2019 analysis by the London School of Economics. And the US-China Business Council's 2021 member survey revealed that "95 percent of respondents report that their China operations were profitable over the last year".

In comparison, the US has been counterproductive to the development of the multilateral trade system with its unilateralism and protectionism and its abuse of WTO rules. It has also paralyzed the WTO's dispute resolution mechanism after years of blocking the appointment of new judges.

The US should stop politicizing the world trade body as it is causing irreparable damage to global economic and trade ties.

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