Another such practice – the use of trade as a coercive tool for non-trade issues – was also disseminated last week when the World Trade Organization agreed to review China’s tariffs of up to ‘at 220% on Australian wine.

These tariffs were imposed (along with others on barley, lobsters, coal and other products) after Australia called for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, banned Huawei from participating in 5G deployments and criticizing China’s treatment of Uyghurs and Hong Kong.

China’s unfair and abusive practices and misguided and misguided trade wars by MAGA show how the international trading system based on a philosophy of open markets – a system that has helped boost China’s growth – has collapsed. and how inefficient the WTO has become. in maintaining his rules.

Other countries, including the UK, Canada and New Zealand, come forward as third parties in the dispute, which has essentially wiped out Australian wine exports to China, as it sums up some of the main criticisms of trade practices. from China.

Last month, the WTO completed a review of China’s trade policy – both a peer review of China and an investigation by the WTO itself – which found, unlike the previous review of 2018, deep dissatisfaction with China’s behavior.

While the WTO summary was diplomatic (and was seized by China as an endorsement of its policies), the review drew stinging criticism, not only from Australia or the United States, but also from the EU, Japan, UK and Canada. They accused China of intimidation and of engaging in practices inconsistent with commitments made by China when it joined the WTO in 2001.

The bans on Australian and Canadian products (in Canada’s case for the detention of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou) have been described by Canadians as part of a model that demonstrated “China’s growing willingness to deploy economic coercive measures to block or impede trade. in response to political disagreements.

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US WTO Chargé d’Affaires David Bisbee said expectations when China joined the WTO – that it would dismantle policies and practices inconsistent with an international trading system based on open policies on the market – had not been realized and it seemed that China had no desire to change.

China had used the imprimatur of WTO membership to become the world’s largest trader while doubling down on its state-led, non-market approach to trade, he said.

The UK has implicitly criticized China for its treatment of Uyghurs, calling for it to ratify the International Labor Organization’s conventions on forced labor. The EU has targeted China’s “expansive” use of the concept of national security in its trade policies while Japan accused it of lacking transparency and of distorting global steel markets with its overcapacity. South Korea complained of abuse in trademark registration processes while India was unhappy with China’s barriers to accessing its markets for Indian agricultural products.

China’s self-proclaimed status (permitted by WTO rules) as a developing country, which allows it to claim “special and differential treatment” on trade issues compared to developed economies, has attracted much criticism . It was a particular scarecrow of the Trump administration, given China’s importance in world trade.

China now says it is ready to be “pragmatic” in insisting that it always has the right to claim that status, whatever that may mean.

China has been accused for decades of flooding world markets with cheap and subsidized products.Credit:Bloomberg

China’s unfair and abusive practices and misguided and misguided trade wars by MAGA show how the international trading system based on a philosophy of open markets – a system that has helped boost China’s growth – has collapsed. and how inefficient the WTO has become. in maintaining his rules.

The US-EU agreement on steel and aluminum, support for Australia’s WTO complaint regarding the treatment of our wine industry and the depth and breadth criticisms of China’s trade practices during the WTO review, however, perhaps provide a glimpse, or even a glimpse, of how China’s behavior might be changed.

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Trump’s tariffs (which were left in place by Joe Biden) are not working. They have done more harm to the United States than to China.

There is now, however, sufficient community of interest and genuine angst among China’s major trading partners on a range of issues – from state subsidies to the use of Chinese market access as a weapon. in non-trade matters, to human rights violations – to use his own tactics against him.
China can keep its economy and society planned and controlled by the state. Much of it is his business and his own people decide.

If, however, it wishes to access major world markets, then, assuming major Western economies can agree on a wide range of rules of engagement with China, whether within or outside the WTO, it should do so on terms which reflected a more level playing field and more transparent for trade and in which there was no possibility of using market access as a mechanism of coercion on non-trade matters.


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