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China’s participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been a rollercoaster of milestones and frictions. China has emerged as a leading trading nation, which has contributed to the expansion of world trade. Some of its trading partners, however, and most vocally the United States, complain that China has reached its new status by eluding its WTO commitments. Under President Trump, the United States reacted strongly against China, almost bringing the WTO(but not China!) to its knees. These actions have been criticized in different ways: Some underline their unilateral character (and the ensuing legal issues they raise), whereas others focus on the regime-neutrality of the WTO, which should, in principle, be able to accommodate Western liberal democracies, developing countries, and socialist countries like China equally. In this short Article, we argue that staying idle is no solution to the China issue and that addressing it through unilateral actions is no solution either. Both approaches would only deepen the current WTO crisis. In our view, the only viable solution for the WTO system requires adding new disciplines to the existing multilateral rules.


International Trade Law | Law

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.